If you love bikinis, basketball, or women who get into both, Christmas has come early for you this year. The Miami Spice Bikini Basketball team has chosen its roster, and we're serving up photos and interviews of 12 of its newly named members. Consider it our (belated) Christmas gift to you.
A former military brat, Erica Caldwell, 24, knows the ties that bind. "My mother and I are very close even though with her being active duty military we don't get to see each other often. But with technology nowadays, we get to see each other all the time through Face Time and Skype," she says. "My dad and I were close until he passed when I was 12 years old, which was by far the hardest time in my life because at the time my mom was overseas with her job. My brothers are my heart, and I would do anything in the world for them!"
Caldwell's five brothers had quite an impact on the baller she is today. "I would definitely say I am competitive. Growing up with five brothers, I had no other choice. It was hard at times because I would want to quit but my big brothers would never let me. I thank them for it today because it made me a much better person."
Due to her mom's military career, she attended three different high schools, after which she obtained a scholarship to Spartanburg Methodist Junior College in South Carolina where she led the women's basketball team to a conference championship, being named "Player of the Year."
She was offered a full basketball scholarship to Florida Atlantic University, where she graduated in business administration in 2011. We're glad to have her on our team now.
Has she always been a sporty girl? "I would have to say yes! I was destined to be an athlete. It ran in my blood so I had no other choice but to be into sports. Don't get me wrong now, off the court you will only catch me in 6-inch heels and short shorts on, but as soon as I hit the wood ... a totally different person comes out of me."
"It's quite funny how I heard about Miami Spice. I was on Facebook one day and this boy sent me a link saying he would love to see me play in this 'bikini league' and he would be my number one fan. I then went and looked up the team and I instantly fell in love! I always wanted to play lingerie football, but to play bikini basketball ... there's nothing more I can ask for. It's playing the sport I've played all my life and wearing a cute outfit, which just puts the icing on the cake! Plus, we get paid! And money is my motivation in life."
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Comfortable playing at small or power forward, Caldwell doesn't know yet if she's be starting, but hopes to be one of the first five. She is ready. "My biggest strength I would have to say is my quickness. With me being almost 6 feet tall, I tend to always have the center guarding me and I definitely like to expose people with slow feet. I'm always faster than most girls my height seeing as I've played on the wing most of my life. Plus I live by my jumper, whereas most big girls won't leave the paint to guard anyone."
Of course, she is not infallible. "My weakness is probably my strength. I'm almost 6 feet but I'm also only 150 pounds, soaking wet. Girls that I normally guard are almost twice my weight so I always find myself having to prove to them that I may be slim but I do have some inner strength in me somewhere!"
That inner strength might come from the confidence of all her experience. "I think I'll bring experience seeing as I've played all four years on a collegiate level. On the court, I think I will end up being a mix match for a lot of girls because I'm quicker than most girls my height."