Junior Rebels Of Today Are Rebels Of Tomorrow
By Wendy Best
You won't find a 10 year-old that is a bigger Rebel fan than Michael Stevenson. There is no doubt which team Michael roots for when you walk into his bedroom.
The walls are covered with UNLV posters, pennants, and pictures of Rebels cut out from magazines and newspapers. His shelf is filled with a scarlet and gray Rebel football, Rebel trading cards, Rebel water bottles, and a basketball signed by some of the Runnin' Rebels.
But his favorite Rebel paraphernalia item is a little piece of cardboard that he keeps by the door, his Junior Rebel Club membership card.
"Because I get to do so many cool things with it. I keep it right here by the door so I always know where it is at," says Michael. He is one of over 300 kids that are members of the Junior Rebel Club. The club is for kids 12 and under that are crazy about the UNLV Rebels.
There is a long list of "cool things" kids receive for $10 as a member of the Junior Rebel Club. The first thing new members get is their official membership card.
That card gets them into all of the club activities. These include: basketball and football clinics conducted by UNLV coaches and players, a tour of locker rooms at the Thomas and Mack Center, Sam Boyd Stadium, and Cox Pavilion, a tour of the television studio at Channel 10, and free admission to one Runnin' Rebel basketball game and one Rebel football game.
Their card also gets them free into all UNLV Olympic Sports home events. Olympic Sports include: volleyball, women's basketball, baseball, softball, men's and women's soccer, swimming, track and field, golf, and men's and women's tennis.
When members show their card at Wet n' Wild, they receive $4 off the price of admission.
After members receive their card they can pick up there "goodie bag." Inside they'll find their official Junior Rebel T-shirt, Junior Rebel wash-on tattoos, a coupon for a 15% discount at the Rebel Store, and posters of the UNLV teams.
In addition, each month members receive a copy of the club newsletter, The Half-Court Press. Each newsletter is filled with stories about Rebel teams, club events, a monthly member birthday list, and word games.
"The Junior Rebel Club has been a real positive experience for my kids," says Antonio Ward, father of members Ricky (9) and Shauna (7). "My wife and I both went to UNLV, so it's a lot of fun to see our kids involved with our school. And the kids have a lot of fun too. They're always wearing their Junior Rebel shirts at the games, giving hi-fives to kids wearing the same shirt."
The special experiences Junior Rebel Club members receive last a lifetime.
"A couple of years ago at the basketball clinic I got to meet Kas (Kambala)," says Andre Summins (11). "He was helping me out with my shot. And then a couple a of months later, during the locker room tour, I saw him in the hall. He asked about my jump shot. It's so sweet that Kas remembered me. He's definitely my favorite player." Not only because he got to meet a great basketball player. "Well that and because I think the way he talks is cool!"
The concept of the Junior Rebel Club began in the early nineties and really began to take off in 1996.
"We're very pleased with the success of the Junior Rebel Club," says UNLV marketing assistant Ben Chulick. "The number of memberships have more than doubled in the past two years. We're getting new members almost every week from across the valley. We even have members from out of state that signed up through our home page (www.unlvrebels.com). Each year we add more members and each year we add more benefits."
That means more Rebel stuff for Michael Stevenson. "That's great cause I'm getting another shelf next month!"