Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Big Easy Buzz: First Round of Honeybees Auditions Draws 140 Candidates 

Posted by Sasha at 5:41 PM ET

By: Jim Eichenhofer
July 16, 2007

Even though Shannon has been a part of the Honeybees for two years, in a way, she still doesn’t quite feel like a full-fledged member of the NBA dance-team fraternity. Shannon, a native of Chalmette, made the Honeybees roster in her first attempt in the summer of 2005, shortly before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf South region and forced the Hornets to evacuate from New Orleans. As a result, she has yet to experience a full slate of 41 home games, instead performing at three New Orleans Arena games in 2005-06 and six more last season.

“It’s great to have the team back full-time,” said Shannon, one of 140 women on hand at Sunday’s first round of Honeybees tryouts. “This year will be a blessing for me. I got the experience of what it’s like to be on an NBA dance team, but next season is going to be a lot different.

“I think the Hornets are going to have a great economic impact on the city,” said the University of New Orleans student. “They’ve already helped out in terms of rebuilding homes and doing a lot of things in the community, so it’s going to help the city. I think Hornets games are going to be a great thing to do for all of the workers who are in New Orleans right now, but aren’t from here.”

Of the 10 Honeybees who performed during the six Hornets games held in New Orleans throughout the 2006-07 season, seven tried out Sunday. All seven Honeybees veterans advanced to the finals, which will be held at Generations Hall from 5 to 8 p.m. and include 44 candidates. All fans are invited to attend. The team will reveal its official 2007-08 roster at the event, consisting of roughly 20 members.

Like Shannon, Honeybees members Donna and Angelle also made the roster for the first time in 2005-06 and are looking forward to their initial 41-game New Orleans home schedule.

“I think it will bring a lot of morale back to the city,” Donna described. “Especially after the hurricane, New Orleans needs something to look forward to. Last year, we had the Saints, but it’s great to have both teams back full-time. It’s going to bring many people to the city and a lot of money into the city.”

“The whole city is excited,” Angelle said. “Our team is back full-time. Playing a full schedule is going to be a lot more exciting than playing six games. We’re ready to support them and welcome the Hornets back.”

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