Sky Squad Sets Its Roster For 2008-09

The Hawks aren't the only ones working to hone their skills in the offseason
and work to improve for next year. Recently the team held tryouts for this year's
version of the Sky Squad, the collection of high-flyers and rim-rattlers that
accompany SkyHawk in the sky during timeouts at Hawks home games.

12 people showed up recently to Philips Arena to participate in tryouts on the Hawks
practice court. Sky Squad director Kirk Johnson was pleased with the turnout.

"The tryouts went well," said Johnson. "This is a new process that will set the standard for the
coming years. Spending the time to interview and get to know the personalities
sends them the message that they're important to the organization."

Philip Davis, a veteran member of the squad, was impressed by the newcomers
who tried out.

"These guys show a lot of tenacity," said Davis. "They asked questions and worked hard. No one
seemed to take the opportunity to try out for granted."

Javaris Carlisle, a newcomer to the team, was very appreciative of the help
from those who'd been on the squad before.

"The veterans helped us out," said Carlisle. "They showed me the way to perfect the stunts."

The auditions were open to anyone who felt they had the chops to give it a
go, attracting people like Dusty Smith, a Hawks season ticket holder.

"I always
wanted to do this," said Smith, who read about the tryouts on the Hawks website
and decided to try out. "I've been a lifelong Hawks fan and enjoy watching the Sky Squad in-game."

The tryouts for the team produced a final squad of 10 frequent flyers, 8
veterans and 2 newcomers.

Check them out when the season tips off at Philips Arena on November 1
against the Philadelphia 76ers!

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