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There's a longstanding rule in sports that cheerleaders are not to fraternize with the players. It's admittedly a rule that's broken pretty much daily, but a rule nonetheless. Things get a littler interesting when you start thinking about the scope of a professional sports organization, both in terms of team staff and in house entertainment. For example, can a trainer for the team date the in house reporter? Can the mascot date a VIP waitress? Or, can the head coach date a member of the dance team?
If you're the Miami Heat, the answer to the latter appears to be a murky issue. Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra's girlfriend Nikki Sapp, happened to work as a Miami Heat dancer. Sapp, 24, began dancing for the Heat when she was 18 years old in 2006. She continued on the dance squad for three years, retiring before the 2009 season. Erik Spoelstra, 42, has been with the team since 1995, but took over as head coach in 2008. Spoelstra as head coach and Sapp as a dancer overlapped by one season, though it's not clear if they were together in 2008, or if the beginning of their relationship was the cause for her exodus from the dance team.
Nonetheless, the couple is together now, and walked the red carpet at a charity event in Miami in early March, 2013. Sapp clearly has skills beyond dancing, as she graduated from Florida International University magna cum laude. She later attended Miami International University of Art & Design on a full scholarship before beginning work as an Art Gallery director in Bal Harbour, FL.
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Now I know what you are all thinking. The name of this site is playerwives.com so why in the world would we feature Ray Allen's mother??
Well, when the mother is as fanatical a fan of her son like Flo I think she belongs on this site.
For anyone that has ever watched a Celtics game in the last few years, chances are you know exactly what I'm talking about when it comes to Ray Allen's mom, Flo. The mother of Jesus Shuttlesworth typically can be seen court side with some sort of Ray Allen jersey on, completely bedazzled out. She currently resides in Florida with her second husband but makes it up North for all the big games (and never misses a game on TV).
Ray also has his mom to credit for his basketball genes. Flo's first husband was in the Air Force, and while moving constantly Flo took up basketball and played on the Air Force team. The entire family would attend all her practices, games, and team events, so Ray grew up around the game because of his mother. When Ray's son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes his mother stepped up and ran the Boston Marathon, raising money for the Joslin Diabetes Center.
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It's gotta be tough to be a young player on a team full of well established vets. They probably go out to the clubs less, and they've almost all settled down with a significant other.
Fortunately for Mario Chalmers, all signs point to him having a level of maturity more advanced than his years. Mario Chalmers is dating Tiffany Graves, and the two have been together for most of his time in Miami, beginning their relationship in 2008. Graves is an aspiring actress and model who has racked up a few television appearances, most notably on BET's College Hill South Beach in 2009. According to her model card on Model Mayhem, she credits her appearance on that show for making her come to the realization that she wanted to pursue a career in modeling (though she makes it clear that while she's okay with any style of photography, she will not be okay with full nude shots).
Tiffany does acknowledge that her modeling career was put on hold for her to finish school. She attended Florida Memorial University where she locked down a 3.0 GPA majoring in biology, while also maintaining aspirations to pursue dental school at some point in the future.
If Chalmers and Graves do stay together, they are set well for the future. The starting point guard on a championship caliber team paired up with a model/actress who was smart enough to graduate college with honors, who uses dental school as a fallback if modeling doesn't work out? Sounds like a pair set well for the future.