Interview With Wizard Girls Dance Team Manager Derric Whitfield
WizardGirls.com caught up with Wizard Girls Dance Team Manager Derric Whitfield for a quick interview on his thoughts on his new squad and the upcoming season.
WizardGirls.com - Looking back, how did your first full season as dance team manager go?
Derric Whitfield - My season with the Wizards was wonderful. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful with my transition to the team. The 2011-2012 Wizard Girls were some the best women I have ever gotten the chance to work with. There was so much talent, beauty, and grace on the team. They are my first NBA squad and will never be forgotten.
WG.com - How exciting is it to have your final 20 member team set?
DW - I'm overly excited about our new squad. I truly believe these ladies are going to pick up where we left off and continue to establish the Wizard Girls as the hottest, most talented dance team in the NBA. It was a long audition process, but it was definitely necessary. In training camp, we were able to get in depth look at each girl’s dance ability, personality, strengths, and work ethic. The 17 young ladies who will join our captains this year, were the best of the best and have what we need to continue expand and grow the Wizard Girl brand.
WG.com - Does it feel different with that this squad was personally chosen by you as opposed to coming in after the squad has been selected?
DW - It does feel a little different. I will be able to work with these girls from start to finish. With choosing the squad from auditions, I’m able to better prepare my game plan for the season. I already feel like I know a little about everyone and believe we picked the best squad to represent the Wizards on and off the court.
WG.com - What do you expect from your three captains Devon, Brittney and Julia?
DW - This is an incredible group of ladies. Not only are they all blessed with amazing talent, they also have the thorough understanding of what it takes to be a Wizard Girl. I expect they assist me with everyday tasks working with the Wizard Girls, be a liaison between myself and the team, welcome our 12 rookies and help develop them, and most importantly support me in developing the Wizard Girl into something great. We are well on our way, and I have full confidence in these young ladies.
WG.com - What events do the Wizard Girls have coming up this summer before the NBA season gets under way in the fall?
DW - We have a VERY busy summer ahead of us. Seven veterans and I left the day after the team was announced and attended the P-R-O Convention in Atlanta. The girls learned choreography and I also shared some of the Wizard Girl choreography with over 300 professional cheerleaders from the NBA, NFL, MLS, AHL, and several other leagues. We will be performing at the USA Basketball game and events July 14th-16th. Beginning on July 19th, we will be traveling to China to tour with NBA Nation. We were selected by the league for this extreme honor and look forward to representing the Wizards well. Then there are photo shoots, media training, media shoots, makeovers, and practice. Being a Wizard Girl is a year round process and never stops.
WG.com - What can fans look forward to from the Wizard Girls next season?
DW - The fans can look forward to a great group of young women who represent themselves and the organization with the utmost grace and excellence. On court, fans can look forward to crowd pleasing, entertaining choreography that will keep them on the edge of their seats and begging for more. We plan to be more involved in the community creating awareness of the Wizards brand. We always strive for excellence and put our best foot forward. This is the season of growth. Big things are going to happen and we are very excited.