The game of basketball continues to embrace the South, especially in the growing market of Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia is known as the Peach State, but for this Atlanta Peach, the sweetest thing is her intensity, knowledge, and her skills on the court. Look out as May 2013 the Bikini Basketball Association (BBA) promises to excite on a court near you.
Many former pro athletes such as Shaquille O’Neal, Sheryl Swoops, Deion Sanders, and many others have welcomed and embraced the idea of the BBA. One player in particular, Michelle Keith will have the opportunity to showcase not only her basketball talent but that southern smile and energetic personality to all.
I had the opportunity to speak with this athletically gifted player who began her basketball career at age six. Michelle learned the game of basketball from her two older brothers, has played everything from basketball, football, and even baseball.
And also learned her outlook on the BBA, musical taste, her thoughts on the WNBA, and much more.
Nick Hamilton (NH): Michelle how did you hear about the Atlanta Peaches and what intrigued you to want to play for the team?
Michelle Keith (MK): I heard about it through one of my co-workers, and I was actually waiting for a team in Atlanta. I was initially going to try out for the Lingerie Football League (LFL), but when I hear about the BBA I decided to go with that. I just signed up and started twitter stalking (laughs) the coach Rodney Daniel about info on when tryouts will be held, and the rest is history.
NH: So you were going to start doing damage to the other ladies in the LFL?
MK: (laughing) That was my initial thought to go out and try out for them. It just sounded like a alot of fun, but my background is in basketball, which is something I love and have played my whole life.
NH: What can fans expect form this team and the BBA in Spring of 2013?
MK: I think we’re a really good squad and we have a lot of girls who are immensely talented. We have some girls from all over the States, so we’re going to be a real threat to take home that championship. As far as the BBA league goes we’ll do well because there is a market for this and it’s exciting. The league is getting the word out along with our team the Atlanta Peaches. We all are heavily involved in the community, which is real important. From the coaching staff, to the front office are involved and once the community sees us out here, they will come to support us as well.
NH: How much will this league open more doors for women’s basketball and athletics?
MK: On the surface yes we’re playing in sport bra’s and boy shorts, which is really no different than what you may see on the Olympic Volleyball teams. We’re out to have fun, we’re exciting, yet we’re out here to compete and win. We’re beautiful and athletic as well. The BBA is an organized league for women who didn’t make it in the WNBA or overseas which gives them another opportunity to play.
NH: Do you feel the BBA will be competition for the WNBA?
MK: No, not at all. It’s a different opportunity for women to play the game they love. The WNBA has their own lane, I respect that league….we all do. I believe the BBA wants to establish their own identity without taking any shine from the WNBA. We want to create and stay in out own lane to be taken seriously. We’ve gotten some great support so far.
NH: Will we see any dunking and will we see you dunking in an official game?
MK: (laughing) I can get to the end of the net so we’ll see. On our team we have a couple of girls who can get up an dunk, so let’s hope so.
NH: Will fans be seeing any Lob City type of play in games next Spring?
MK: If so it’ll be basic dunks, but it’ll be fun and great.
NH: Do you have any idea where your team will be playing games?
MK: As of right now no nothing definite. However the team is working on that now, so we’ll find out soon enough.
NH: Do you know what uniform you all will be wearing when the season begins?
MK: Everything is up in the air at this time. I just know it’ll be sport bra’s and boy shorts for now. I do know that our team colors will be red and black to stick with the cohesiveness of the Falcons, Braves, Hawks and those teams.
NH: What gets you hype, what type of music are you into?
MK: I’m heavily into Neo-Soul, I love it! Definitely into Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, The Roots, and Common. I will listen to rap music, but my love is Neo-Soul.
Even in my iPod right now I have Frank Ocean, Miguel, Cee-Lo form Goodie Mob, and Melonie Fiona.
I’ll rock with T.I., Outkast, and I love them all. I’m just more of a chill, cool out type of person.
NH: Great, so where can people find out more about you, the Atlanta Peaches, and the BBA?
MK: Well on twitter @ATLPeachesBBA, @BikiniBall, and for myself @Michelle12Keith and once they follow they’ll get the whole experience. On Instagram they can follow me at Kaleidoscopedrm. Also on Facebook they Like Bikini Basketball page.
NH: Thank you very much for taking time out for us, and good luck with this coming season.
MK: Thank you so much, appreciate it…. talk to you all later.
This young lady is a true leader, not just with a high basketball IQ, but with a vision that will impact many away from the court. One can’t deny her attitude of service along with her huge heart and the Atlanta Peaches organization for the community.
As she wraps up her journalism degree that will obtain from Georgia State University, you may see this young journalist gracing a sideline or hosting a sports show for some network in the near future.