The Grizzlies players aren’t the only athletes on the court at FedExForum. With their fast-paced dance moves and exciting routines, the Grizz Girls rock FedExForum at every home game. Throughout the season, these dancers entertain Grizz Nation with high-energy dance routines that keep the crowd excited during timeouts, between quarters and select halftime intermissions.
Away from the arena, Grizz Girls add a special touch to the Grizzlies events with their infectious personalities and their ability to make every Memphian feel like part of the Grizzlies family.
Grizz Girl Valerie is a lifetime cheerleader and no training in dance! She is actually a former NFL Cheerleader and thought it would be fun to try something new. Valerie was on Universal Cheerleaders Association staff for 4 summers while attending college. Valerie thinks that as long as confidence and passion is there, you can do anything!
ASIANCE: What did your family think of you pursuing a different career path besides the traditional Asian careers our parents push us into?
Valerie: I was adopted by an American family so I wasn’t exposed to that environment. I actually have a Degree in Retail and Consumer Science from the University of Tennessee. I operate a women’s boutique store. The cheerleading career was always my second job or I call it my fun job.
ASIANCE: When did you realize that you wanted to be a Memphis Grizzlies cheerleader?
Valerie: During the Tennessee Titans Auditions the Coach from the Memphis Grizzlies came to announce their auditions that were coming up. So that gave me the idea to check it out.
ASIANCE: Who is your current favorite Memphis Grizzlies player?
Valerie: Tony Allen
ASIANCE: Who is your favorite basketball player of all time?
Valerie: Michael Jordan
ASIANCE: What is the first thing you notice in a man?
Valerie: He has to have a great smile.
ASIANCE: What qualities do you look for in a boyfriend?
Valerie: Personality is a must! Sense of humor, athletic, Smart, must love dogs, and be adventurous.
ASIANCE: Do you have a celebrity crush on someone who is in the public eye that you would like to date? We want a feel for your type!
Valerie: Tom Brady and Josh Duhamel, unfortunately, they are already taken!
ASIANCE: What was the worst pickup line you have ever heard?
Valerie: Do you have a library card?? no… why?? Cause I want to check you out. CHEESY!
ASIANCE: Name three words that describe you.
Valerie: Outgoing, Smart, Fun
ASIANCE: What is your favorite activity to do in Memphis?
Valerie: MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES games of course. I also love the dining in Memphis. They have local restaurants that have amazing food. I love Soul Fish and The Beauty Shop.
ASIANCE: What is your best feature?
Valerie: People love my Hair. I get compliments on that the most.
ASIANCE: What is the most adventurous thing you have done?
Valerie: Surfing in Hawaii…. By the way… I can’t swim.
ASIANCE: What is the best part about being a Memphis Grizzlies cheerleader?
Valerie: The friendships that you develop and helping out in the community. Giving back is always fun and making people smile.
ASIANCE: Do you think that Asian/Asian American Women are finally making strides on the professional cheerleading squads?
Valerie: Yes. I think it’s wonderful that we have an opportunity to be apart of amazing organizations.
ASIANCE: What is the greatest accomplishment in your life thus far?
Valerie: wow.. that’s a tough one. I recently got a new job so that’s a pretty good accomplishment. I know the job market is pretty tough. I am fortunate to have a wonderful job.
ASIANCE: Can you tell us about a crazy fan/stalker incident?
Valerie: I had a fan show up with an 8×10 picture of me and the swimsuit calendar of me in Hawaii while I was there during the PROBOWL. He also showed up at the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio.
ASIANCE: Where do you hope your NBA Cheerleading experience will lead you to?
Valerie: I didn’t have any expectations but to dance. It has lead me to great talented dancers. I always wanted to dance when I was younger, but I couldn’t afford to take any dance lessons. The experience to dance with amazing dancers has been awesome. It was challenging for me, but it was worth it.
ASIANCE: How do you manage to look so perfect throughout the game?
Valerie: Just keep smiling and live for the moment.
ASIANCE: Do you have any “beauty secrets” that you can share with our readers?
Valerie: I wash my hair everyday and use conditioner religiously. I don’t wear foundation. I always have lip balm with me. I’m actually low maintenance. Now that I am getting older I need to find some anti-aging lotion and need to wear sunscreen more often.
ASIANCE: What advice do you have for young girls aspiring to become NBA Cheerleaders?
Valerie: stay in shape, eat healthy, take dance lessons, stay confident, and just go for it. Don’t let anyone distract you or bring you down.
ASIANCE: What do you like of this Jeremy Lin phenomenon? Asian on the court!!
Valerie: I think it’s awesome to see him play and shine on the court. It gives others hope and create dreams that can be achieved.