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NBA D-League – Anaheim Arsenal A-List Girls

James, our fearless publisher, emailed me a few weeks ago asking whether I would like to come down to Anaheim and report on the Anaheim Arsenal A-List Girls. You see, I’ve taken on an expanded role with the blog as we take this endeavor to the next level and James has been kind enough to provide me with a couple of opportunities to increase my involvement. So, it was with great excitement that I accepted his offer./I knew this would be a challenge because the Arsenal plays their home games in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena, home to the Big West Conference basketball tournament. These arenas can be a challenge because the lighting is typically not so good and you have to have the experience and right equipment to be able to capture fast moving action under these difficult conditions. Now, I have been known to shoot a cheerleader or two in my day, so I came with my “A” game.

Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls

The Anaheim Arsenal play in the NBA D-League, the NBA’s minor league farm system that provides experience and training for young basketball players. Coincidentally, the A-List Girls seem to be a feeder system to other professional cheerleading organizations. For example, former A-List Girls Jenny, Jacqueline, Lauren and Michelle made the jump to the big leagues: Jacqueline and Lauren with the Clippers Spirit, Michelle with the Laker Girls and, of course, Jenny with the Charger Girls. And current A-List Girls Amy, Megan and Monique recently made the 2009 ChivaGirls squad. This is not surprising considering A-List Girls Director Jodi Adamo was a former Clipper Spirit dancer and Laker Girl in the early 90’s. She knows what it takes to perform at the highest levels of professional cheerleading, so I am guessing that being one of her A-List Girls is excellent training for those who aspire to the major leagues of cheerleading.

Arsenal A-List Girls

One of the first things I realized when I got settled in the arena was the number of families with young kids that were in attendance. The Anaheim Arsenal creates a very family friendly environment with reasonable ticket prices and accessible players and cheerleaders, a rather stark contrast from the more impersonal NBA. You get a sense that the staff of the Arsenal makes it priority to reach out to all the fans. All in all, I think an Anaheim Arsenal game is an excellent value for the entertainment dollar. And the cheerleading is first rate.Editor’s note: Yes, I know they are dancers! But enough chit chat. Let’s get on with the photos. Now, I must say I was a little dismayed when I saw the A-List Girls come out wearing warm ups for the national anthem. I’m a red blooded American male and when I think of professional cheerleaders, I think of hot girls in sexy outfits, not warm ups. I quickly realized that the warm ups were a simple but effective prop incorporated into a hot dance routine. Here’s a few photos of Jen, Victoria, Elyce and Aisha working their warm ups.

Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls

However, I was not to be disappointed because at the end of the first quarter, the A-List Girls changed into more conventional attire. Did I mention that these girls are hot? Yes, sizzling hot! And they are all great dancers, as you can see from these photos.

Here’s Elyce, who hails from Brea, California and aspires to be a nurse.

Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls

Victoria and I have something in common. She’s from Pasadena, a city that I used to call home for 10 years. Another thing we have in common is dancing…she’s great at dancing and I’m great at watching dancing.

Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls

Villa Park’s Lindsay K. aspires to become a real estate professional and a buyer for a clothing company.

Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls

Statuesque Rhea calls Yorba Linda her hometown and she is also an OC Flyers Victory Girl. The OC Flyers are a professional baseball team owned, in part, by James Denton of Desperate Housewives fame.

Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls

Megan, another Yorba Linda native, is one of three A-List Girls who recently made the 2009 ChivaGirls. She’s really nice and very approachable…I’m not saying you should do so, but that’s the great thing about the A-List Girls. You can walk up to them at the game and get an autograph or pose with them for a photograph. That’s unique in professional sports, that level of accessibility. But, let’s get back to Megan.

Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls

Interesting fact about Aisha…she’s a football player who aspires to be a top choreographer. Here’s Aisha in her finishing pose from the second quarter dance performance.

Arsenal A-List Girls

Now I must admit that I was taken a little bit with Teri. You see, Teri has these beautiful eyes and a great smile. And she is very, very photogenic and that’s a rare quality, indeed.

Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls

Now, I haven’t forgotten about Jen. I just don’t have a photo of her in this particular outfit. But, that’s okay because I have a few photos of her in the A-List Girls third uniform of the day. That’s the one thing about basketball versus football…many uniform changes. Here are a few photos of Jen in the A-List Girls second half outfits.

Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls

Jen hails from beautiful Del Mar, California which is a suburb of San Diego. Now I was told that Jen is going to be trying out for the San Diego Charger Girls in a few weeks and I wanted to wish her well…you see, that’s my normal gig, covering the Charger Girls. So, maybe we’ll see each other next fall.

And speaking of football, here’s another shot of Lindsay K. doing her best Heisman pose.

Arsenal A-List Girls

And one of her hollering to the fans…just kidding. It just looks like that. I kid. I kid. Anyway, Lindsay is very photogenic and it was a very interesting look, so I took the shot…it’s what I do.

Arsenal A-List Girls

And speaking of hot looks, here’s three sizzling photographs of Teri.

Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls

Another A-List Girl that was rather striking on the court…Aisha.

Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls

And here are a couple photos of Elyce and Megan dancing during the promotional break in the fourth quarter.

Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls

Speaking of fan friendly promotions, the Anaheim Arsenal passed out Thundersticks in the second half to the fans in attendance…mainly kids, who went crazy with these things. Here’s a photo of Teri banging her Thundersticks together.

Arsenal A-List Girls

Because of a number of in-game promotions and a special performance by a local dance company, the A-List Girls didn’t perform a dance routine in the second half. But, Jodi let me know that I could take photographs of the girls throughout the game to get the shots for the blog. So, I took the opportunity during the lulls in the action to take a few posed photos of the A-List Girls.

Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls
Arsenal A-List Girls

After the game, the A-List Girls signed mini posters for the fans in attendance. That’s the thing about going to an Anaheim Arsenal game. You can meet the players and cheerleaders up close, something you rarely get to do at an NBA, MLB or NFL game.

Arsenal A-List Girls

So, in closing I had a great time in shooting my first NBA D-League game. The Anaheim Arsenals put on a great show and the A-List Girls are worth the price of admission alone. They are truly a top notch squad with some great looking dancers, some of whom you might see gracing the sidelines of an NFL game or courtside at an NBA game in the future./My thanks go out to Danny Peterson, Director of Media and Community Relations for the media credential. And a special thanks to Jodi Adamo, A-List Girls Director for providing me with the access and availability to photograph the squad. It was a very enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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