If you think about the two most renowned cheerleading squads in professional sports, you probably would think the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the Lakers Girls. Why? They represent two of the most successful teams in their respective sports and as such garner the most notoriety. And they are the only two squads that have had movies made about them…at least to my knowledge.
They are the best of the best. And in the NBA, the gold standard is the Laker Girls.
Now, I have been a Laker fan since I was a young kid back in the 70’s. In summer of 1985, I ditched summer school at UCLA to attend the Lakers championship celebration in the parking lot of the old Fabulous Forum. The Showtime Lakers were there and so were the Laker Girls. So, I’ve been a fan of the Laker Girls almost as long as I’ve been a fan of the Lakers.
I must say, prior to this year it has been rather hard to photograph the Laker Girls up close and personal. Its just not possible at Staples Center, where the Lakers play their home games. But this year, you can get close to the Laker Girls at…an L.A. D-fenders game. Yes, the Laker Girls are THE dance team for the NBA D-League Los Angeles D-fenders.
Now I must give credit where credit is due and thank our good friend Mad Max the Road Warrior from Arizona for turning me on to this fact. He is as gaga about cheerleaders as anyone I know and like a pig sniffing out truffles in France, Max digs up all sorts of cheerleader shooting opportunities. So I want to recognize his efforts in making me aware of this tremendous opportunity to provide our readers with some photos of the lovely Laker Girls, a rare treat indeed.
Now the L.A. D-fenders play their home games on the practice court of the Los Angeles Lakers in El Segundo and as such the seating is limited. At $20.00 for a general admission seat, its not exactly a cheap ticket for a minor league sporting event, but if you factor in the entertainment value of the Laker Girls in addition to the basketball, its not a bad value at all.
And speaking of the basketball, its surprisingly competitive. For this article, I went to two games in the span of a week and both games were very competitive and entertaining. The level of play is somewhere between college ball and the NBA, but what I noticed is that talent level is fairly even between teams which means that the games are more competitive than you might find in the NBA or college where the competitive balance is more disparate. Now this is opinion is based on only two games, so take it with a grain of salt.
But enough about the NBA D-league. Let’s get on with our coverage of the Laker Girls.
So I must say I thoroughly enjoyed my two trips to the see the L.A. D-fenders play. The games were competitive and the level of play was generally good. But for me, the real highlight was seeing the Laker Girls perform up close and personal. It is a rare treat and one that I recommend to anyone who enjoys basketball and watching one of the most renown dance teams in all of professional sports, the Laker Girls.
For ticket information regarding upcoming L.A. D-fenders games, please visit their website.