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SPORTS

Brooklynettes visit London
Josh Modaberi catches up with the gals in black'n'white
July 15, 2013


The Brooklynettes cheerleaders pose atop the O2 Arena.
Photo © Hanson Images

The Brooklynettes cheerleaders visited London's 02 Arena recently to help promote NBA basketball's return for a fourth regular season game in the English capital this coming January. The Atlanta Hawks meet the Brooklyn Nets at the O2 on January 16 2014.

The game will be the Nets' second voyage to the UK for a regular season NBA game, but time in a new uniform and with a host of new faces after their blockbuster draft-day trade with the Boston Celtics put Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry and D.J. White into their black and white threads.

The last time the Nets came over to the UK, they took on the Toronto Raptors in two thrilling games as New Jersey, but a bit has changed since that occasion. Since the double header in 2011, New Jersey have moved to the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, becoming the Brooklyn Nets in the process.

As well as the team, the Brooklyn Nets cheerleaders, the Brooklynettes, will also be heading to these shores in January and are looking forward to the occasion.

"We were here in 2011 as the New Jersey Nets, and that was amazing being able to perform at the O2," Siobhan, one of the team captains said. " It should be fun again when we return but this time as the Brooklyn Nets so we'll see what happens.

"The Change to Brooklyn has been amazing, the fans in Brooklyn are great, we're so excited to bring our brand, the Brooklyn Nets over here to London and all over Europe.

"We don't really get to travel on away games in America, we mainly do home games only, but getting to travel internationally is great because we get to take the Brooklyn brand all over, so it's great representing Brooklyn, New York and the Nets."

And getting to spend a lot of time with the team, what are the cheerleaders aspirations for next season?

"A lot of us follow basketball, and last season we had a brand new Brooklyn Nets team and they did so well," Siobhan continued. "They got to the play-offs the first season being in Brooklyn, so I think next years is going to be amazing.

"We have some great guys and we expect another great season and hopefully we can go one step further and win the championship."

Asked about the effort it takes to become a professional cheerleader, Jessica, another one of the teams captains explains, "It's a lot of hard work. We have dance auditions ahead of every season. Each year we get between 400 to 500 girls and we will teach them across the floor combinations, we will show them the routine and they will have to show us the combination right then and there.

"It's a lot of hard work and a lot of training goes into it. We all have to audition every year, most of us have dance backgrounds from when we were younger and growing up."

The girls then get to perform their routines in front of 20,000 fans at the Barclays Center, and they are enjoying the opportunity to perform in front of the UK fans at the O2.

"It is an unbelievable experience getting to perform in front of so many great fans in Brooklyn," Jessica added. "It has been an eye opening experience like no other and the fans show us a lot of love and we appreciate the support.

"When we come over to the UK in January the fans can expect a whole lot of entertainment. We have the dance team and we strive to be the best. We also have the dunk team, so all of us perform tricks on a trampoline and the basketball is amazing, so you are going to see a great show from start to finish."

Tickets for the game will go on sale in October 2013. Fans can register for pre-sale opportunities by signing up to NBA All-Access http://www.nba.com/allaccess/. More information can be found at facebook.com/NBAUK or @NBAU

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