If you’ve seen an NBA game at any arena, then you know the high energy routines of the cheerleaders (who are more often called dancers, these days), keep the crowd pumped-up during halftimes and breaks in the action. With the current NBA season now down to the playoffs, some of these ladies may not be returning to the court until later this year but many of them stay busy during the off-season by appearing at promotions, special events, and touring as ambassadors of the cities and teams they represent. One dancer whose season is not yet over is Chicago Luvabulls co-captain Erika, whose team, the Chicago Bulls, are still in the running as of this writing. Erika is a University of Illinois alumna who’s in her ninth year with the Luvabulls.The following are the other 24 Asian ladies who grace the court with their squads on game days in support of their teams. At the end of the photos is a poll so that you can vote on who you would most like to see interviewed for a solo feature. You should base your choice on more than just looks, so click on their names to check out their profiles. After the beginning of the 2012-2013 NBA season, I’ll make serious (but reasonable) efforts to contact the top vote-getter for an interview.
Note: The ladies featured here are from the squads’ 2011-2012 rosters only. Some may not be returning for next season and since teams usually hold auditions beginning in June, there may be some new additions to the 2012-2013 rosters. Furthermore, these ladies don’t list their ethnicity on their profiles so I simply “played it by eye” and selected the ones whom I pegged for being Asian, full or part. If I missed any that are part-Asian, or included any that are not part-Asian (both of which are highly unlikely since I have kind of a keen eye for this), well ….my mistake and you can cast a write-in vote in the comments below, for any lady not included here that should be.
Atlanta Hawks Cheerleader Mona says there’s nothing she’s more passionate about than dancing and by being a Hawks cheerleader, she’s living out one of her lifelong dreams.
Born in Tokyo and raised in the US, Blazerdancer Eri has been with the Portland Trailblazers squad for five years now.
Rookie Blazerdancer Lisa says of dancing, “It’s something that lives in your body that you can’t get rid of.”
Second year Dallas Mavericks Dancer, Helen has a B.S in Accounting Information Management from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Born and raised in Japan, Natsuki came to the US just two years ago and earned a spot as a Mavs Dancer last year.
The Detroit Pistons are unique in that they have separate cheer and dance teams. Pam has been a member of the former since 2004 and plans on opening up her own yoga studio.
Thera has been a Golden State Warrior Girl for 5 years. Her “day job” is that of an electrical engineer.
Rookie Warrior Girl Patrisha (Yes, that’s how she spells it.) also works as a makeup artist and majors in public relations at San Jose State University.
Also a rookie Warrior Girl, Regina has been dancing sine she was five and is a student at the UCSF School of Pharmacy.
Third-year Clippers Spirit veteran Katrina is also a nursing student and Los Angeles ambassador for Hennessy Black.
Bianca is a second-year member of the Los Angeles Clippers’ squad, “Clippers Spirit.” Besides the court, she can also be caught at Disneyland where she’s a parade performer.
Rookie Clippers Spirit member Shannon is a dance major at UC Riverside and a Married with Children fan.
Third-year Los Angeles Laker Girl Veronica majored in Public relations and plays basketball herself.
First-year Laker Girl Jennifer has a degree in journalism and loves to ride horses.
Also a rookie Laker Girl, Linette majored in business administration at UC Riverside.
First-year Miami Heat Dancer Julianne loves to travel and sees herself becoming a hotel reviewer.
Co-captain of the newly-named Philadelphia 76ers dance squad, the “Dream Team,” Annie has been with the team for five years. She’s danced in national competitions and plays the piano. (Link is to her 2010-2011 profile because the Dream Team’s new page has no dancer profiles yet.)
Phoenix Suns Dancer Brittni is a student in her second year with the squad and wants to be a contestant on the show Wipe Out.
Suns Dancer Carla enjoys “t-shirt time” at US Airways Center (and has a great arm to throw those t-shirts into the crowd) and would love to wear the gorilla suit (the Suns’ mascot) just to see what it’s like.
Arielle is in her second year with the Sacramento Kings Dancers (formerly known as the Kings Royal Court Dancers). Next to dance, football is her favorite sport.
Also a second-year Kings Dancer Brittney lists soccer as her favorite sport after dance.
Ashley is in her third year with the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak. She’s currently a student studying physical health and education, and is a big Elvis fan.
Also in her third year with the Dance Pak, Char is a professional dance instructor and choreographer. He hobby is playing the guitar.
Nikki has been with the Utah Jazz’s squad, the Nu Skin Jazz Dancers, for six seasons. She’s a registered nurse and running in a marathon is on her “bucket list.”