Basketball Cheerleaders Energize Inman
The basketball gym is full of the sounds of squeaking shoes, yelling coaches and bouncing balls; however, the chants of the basketball cheerleaders are one of the more prominent sounds in the gym, no matter what the level of the sport. Last year the Knights basketball team was without the support of the Pace cheerleaders, and they were sorely missed. The games lacked the energy of their cheers and halftime dances. “I missed the experience of playing with the spirit of the cheerleaders coming from the sidelines,” said junior Barrett Baker, a member of the varsity basketball team. This year, cheerleading coach Mary Liebman has assembled a new group of enthusiastic cheerleaders to energize the Inman Center during game time.
The cheerleaders are led by three key seniors: Lexi Rubin, Kassia Toure and Lali Zamora. “The team has great energy,” said Lexi. “I love all the underclassmen, and I will definitely keep in touch with them when I go to college.” Lexi, the only cheerleader who was on the varsity squad two years ago, suffered a broken foot that was “completely unrelated to any cheerleading activity,” she said.
The basketball cheerleading squad differs from the football squad, with Lali being the only member on both varsity teams. Lali will use the experience she gained from going to the Georgia Dome to help with the young squad. Practicing twice a week, the cheerleaders hope to rebuild the same success the basketball team had last year.”It’s been a really fun season so far, and it has been fun making new friends with upperclassmen,” said freshman Kendall Willis. With ten underclassmen, the three seniors, only two of whom are healthy, continue to guide the young squad.
The squad has been training with each other since November. “From day one we all had a really good vibe, and we all can joke around with each other,” said sophomore Spencer Sinclair. The Knights cheerleading team brings enthusiasm not only to the fans, but also to the basketball players. “They bring a lot of energy and spirit to the gym, which helps us keep pushing in the game,” said junior Parker Payne. Look out for their cheers at all home basketball games as the squad works to bring the Pace spirit to the Inman Center.