Paige Carter to Manage Thunder Girls

OKLAHOMA CITY, August 10, 2011 – The Oklahoma City Thunder announced today Paige Carter as manager of the Thunder Girls dance team. Carter, who grew up in Phoenix, brings an extensive background in choreography, dance and leadership. Her sports experience ranges from the NFL, NBA, WNBA and AFL, most notably with the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Cardinals. She was in attendance at Saturday’s open auditions at the Cox Convention Center.

“Paige will be a great addition to the Thunder family,” said Thunder Director of Events and Entertainment John Leach. “She brings a vast knowledge of both NFL and NBA game experiences and a strong dedication to community involvement. In addition, she has held numerous roles and responsibilities as a dancer, teacher and performer. We are confident she will continue to bring world-class entertainment to Thunder fans.”

Carter earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Arizona, where she was a member of the Varsity pom team. She began her professional sports dance career in 1997 with the Phoenix Suns as a Suns Girl and cheered on fans for six consecutive seasons. During her time with the Suns, Carter performed on the Phoenix Mercury’s (WNBA) hip-hop dance squad and also worked as a choreographer for many esteemed dance studios throughout the Phoenix and Scottsdale area.

Following her NBA tenure, Carter earned a spot on the Arizona Cardinals’ cheerleading team where she was chosen as “Rookie of the Year” (2005). In addition, she was a Line Captain for the Sidewinders, the dance team for AFL’s Arizona Rattlers.

Most recently, Carter has held the role of Varsity Pom Coach for Desert Mountain High School. The team has established a winning tradition under her guidance and choreography, including AIA State Champions (2007) and USA Regional (2007, 2011) and National (2007, 2008, 2009) Champions. She also continues to work with the Cardinals’ Cheerleader program as the Dance Condition Coach for their training group.

Carter will help oversee the audition process as the 2011-12 Thunder Girls team is selected. Auditions began Saturday at the Cox Convention Center. Finalists will move on to the next round which includes interviews, a written test and practices. The seven-day process will conclude with the final round on Thursday, Aug. 11 in front of a live audience at Riverwind Casino. This event is free and open to the public. Fans are encouraged to arrive when doors open at 6 p.m. The final round will begin at 7 p.m.