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Laker girl profile: Ashley hopes to later work as a counselor or teacher


This is the eleventh post of a weekly series that helps you get to know the Laker Girls (who, by the way, officially go by one name only)

Laker Girl name: Ashley

Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA

Area of Residence: Yorba Linda, CA

College/High School: Fullerton Community College

What prompted you to want to become a Laker Girl? I have wanted to be Laker Girl since I was in high school because one of my dance studio instructor was a former Laker Girl. She inspired me to audition.

What do you think stood out to the judging panel, about you, regarding your audition? I think I stood out to the judges because my performance showed my commitment and professionalism as a dancer. Also, I hope they saw my excitement and emotion that I possessed as a performer.

What do you think makes a good Laker Girl?I think a good Laker Girl loves to dance and perform. As well as be a dedicated representative for the Lakers organization……any Laker Girl should want to be a positive role model in our community.

What is your dance experience? I have danced since I was 7 years old. I started off with ballet tap combo classes, then began to do jazz and hip hop. When I was about 11 years of age, I moved into studio dancing and dance competitions. I made my high school dance team and danced all four years…..and now, here I am dancing my dream job as a Laker Girl!

Favorite dance routine, while being a Laker Girl? My favorite routine this year would have to be a dance called "Higher Ground". It's fun to perform and I think people in the audience really enjoy it.

Favorite uniform? My favorite uniform is a two piece uniform we call "Purple mesh uniform". The skirt has layers of purple/white mesh with rhinestones sprinkled on it and the top is a halter with purple mesh.

Favorite Lakers Player? My favorite Lakers player is Kobe Bryant. He is an amazing basketball player and always pulls through when we need it the most!

Favorite Laker Girl memory so far? My favorite memory so far was winning the 2009-2010 championship against the Boston Celtics. It was amazing to be there throughout the NBA playoffs and then to be at the game – there in the moment of winning the championship! It was an unbelievable experience that I will never forget!

What do you like most about being involved, as a Laker Girl, at local charity/community events? I enjoy going out into the community and getting to know people who work with the many charitable/non-profit organizations. Not to mention, meeting all the people who show up to support these events/organizations. It fills my heart with joy when we make someone's day. It is truly amazing how much of an impact, we (as Lakers Girls) can have on someone.

What would you say is your beauty secret? My best beauty secret would have to be always wash your face before you go to bed, no matter how tired you are. It's the best way to keep your skin clear and clean.

What diet/workout tips do you have? To maintain a good diet you need to drink lots of water and eat plenty of fruits/vegetables daily. I feel this will keep you healthy and make you feel more energized. I believe cardio is the best form of exercise because you build endurance, while keeping your muscles toned.

What are your hobbies? When I'm not busy with Lakers events…….I love to go on vacation with my friends/family and just spend quality time with them. I enjoy camping, laying out by the pool, hanging out at the beach and shopping.

Career aspirations? I would like to continue dancing professionally. As well as finish my education by graduating in Human Services. One day I would love to work with children, either as a counselor or a teacher.

--Mark Medina

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No song references yet? I'll start:


And I'm for world peace...

The Lakers Championship DNA will be found elsewhere." -- Feb 17, 2011 by... Rick Friedman
Sad to know that Rick passed away with a heavy heart as to how he sees the Lakers performance those time that he still alive. He never had a chance to see the transformation that the Lakers has undergone after the All Star break. Let's dedicate the three-peat act of the Lakers to Rick Friedman. Mabuhay to Mr. Friedman's memory!!

By Elliott Teaford for Whittier Daily News
Another excellent article about Drew’s emergence. Here is excerpt:
Others are taller and some weigh more, but is there a bigger big man than Andrew Bynum in the NBA? Bynum, officially listed at 7-foot and 285 pounds, certainly measured up against the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard, who's 6-11, 275.
"He's a big guy, man," Orlando point guard Jameer Nelson said of Bynum after the Lakers rallied to defeat the Magic 97-84 on Monday night at Staples Center for their 10th victory in 11 games since the All-Star break.
"He's a handful," Nelson continued. "It's like he's out there and you think you've got the ball, and he has it in his hands. You're jumping for the ball, but he's just standing there tipping it to himself to get those extra shots."
Bynum scored 10 points and matched his career high with 18 rebounds Monday, his fourth consecutive game with 10 or more points and his sixth straight with 12 or more rebounds. He's had a big impact on the Lakers' winning ways since the All-Star break.
After rounding into form slowly following offseason right knee surgery that sidelined him for the first 24 games of 2010-11, Bynum has become a force in the paint for the Lakers. His season averages have risen to 11.6 points and 8.8 rebounds.
In his last five games, he's averaging 13 points and 15.6 rebounds.
"I think he's just getting more comfortable physically," Lakers point guard Derek Fisher said. "In terms of being healthy, he came off a knee surgery in the summer. Regardless of age or experience, surgeries take time to recover from.
"I think he's feeling more comfortable physically. He's doing some unbelievable things out there for us.
"And I keep saying it: In terms of since the All-Star break, people are asking why we've been so much better, and I'll start with him."
Bynum's value has been evident from time to time since the Lakers drafted him as an inexperienced 17-year-old from St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, N.J. When he's been healthy, he's been a forceful presence around the basket.
The Lakers won back-to-back titles with him in their starting lineup, and they lost to the Boston Celtics in the 2008 Finals when he was sidelined by a left kneecap injury. They defeated Boston last June and Howard and the Magic in 2009.
"Andrew's game has grown, even from when he first came back (from surgery earlier this season) to now," Lakers sixth man Lamar Odom said. "(It's) his understanding for the game, his understanding for what the team needs.
"When you get a guy that can protect the basket, it helps a lot."

Now that the Lakers have taken over Dallas, they should play to catch up Boston/Chicago in standing. That way, they can avoid falling back to complacement for next 6 (easy) home games.

By Michael Ventre for NBC Sporst
Another excellent article about Drew’s impact on Lakers. Here is excerpt:
Bigger is better. Generally speaking, it's what we've been taught to believe. Big represents superiority, strength, power.
But small has its place, too, especially in the NBA. The prevailing basketball opinion in recent years is that small rules. If you don't have a multitasking point guard who hopscotches through the lane at warp speed, says conventional wisdom, you can't compete for titles.
So call the Lakers throwbacks, because they think small is no big whoop. They're on the big bandwagon, and it's gaining momentum. Thanks largely to Andrew Bynum, a sixth-year center who finally has both feet out of the infirmary, the two-time defending champions are suddenly playing the kind of basketball that gives them an excellent chance to become three-peat champs.
On Monday night, Bynum outplayed Dwight Howard, who is officially The Best Center In The League. Bynum had 10 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks in 27 minutes. Howard had 22 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks, but also nine of his team's 18 turnovers in 43 minutes. The Lakers triumphed, 97-84, and have won 10 of 11 since the All-Star break.
But this isn't about Bynum versus Howard, but rather the Bigs against the Big-less. Give me Bynum. Give me Howard. Give me somebody else who is that big and athletic, who can stand there and swat at shots, slam home easy buckets and snatch rebounds. Give me somebody who hustles, plays with passion, and anchors his team's defense. Give me big, and you can keep small.
It's not that cut-and-dried, of course. It's handy to have talent at every position.
Yet the Lakers are in great shape, thanks to their bigs — Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. They provide security around the hoop.
The Boston Celtics? Apparently, general manager Danny Ainge didn't get the "big" memo. He traded away Kendrick Perkins, who was seriously valuable within the context of the Celtics, but rather overrated outside of that. Without Perkins, though, the Celtics don't have that big presence to intensify their interior defense. If Shaq had a lot left, he'd be that guy. But he doesn't, and he isn't.
The Miami Heat don't have that big individual, either. Zydrunas Ilgauskas could put Erick Dampier on his shoulders and they still wouldn't equal one Bynum or Howard. That's the Heat's Achilles', but to be fair, it's true for a lot of teams.
Derrick Rose is a deserving MVP candidate for the Chicago Bulls. But center Joakim Noah is so vital to their efforts on both ends of the court that Sam Smith of gives out what he calls his "Noah Award," to players around the league who never stop hustling.
In the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder added the Perkins piece in the deal with Boston, thereby making themselves a bit tougher inside and a tad peskier to the Lakers. San Antonio remains competitive not only because of Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, who are outstanding, but because of an overall defensive effort led by big man Tim Duncan. The Dallas Mavericks are in the hunt not just because of Dirk Nowitzki, but also because of Tyson Chandler.
But it's Bynum who is raising the most eyebrows these days. Speculation has it that trade chatter before the February deadline lit a blaze under him. Then there is also the notion that he is finally healthy and in game condition.
Whatever it is, Bynum's resurgence has triggered the Lakers' revival. Before, both the young center and the rest of the veteran club were plodding along, ankle deep in the muck of hoops mediocrity. Now they're playing championship-caliber basketball.
In fact, Bynum has been so good that he has sparked debate in Lakers Nation and points beyond about whether to eventually trade him anyway, with the idea being that his value will never be higher, and also that he's bound to get hurt again.
That leads to the greater philosophical debate about whether to win now at all costs, or set yourself up to win later. The Celtics claim the acquisition of Jeff Green in the Perkins swap was not only done in anticipation of Paul Pierce's eventual decline, but to improve themselves now. Those who believe that appear to be in the minority.
Sometimes you can overthink these things. There's always the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" school. Bynum and the Lakers are cranking. Bynum is so active that he's contesting almost every shot — and, it should be noted, making smart judgments about avoiding dumb fouls. He's pursuing every rebound the way Charlie Sheen pursues cameras.
And in the process, he's making life a lot easier for Gasol, Odom, Kobe Bryant and the rest of his teammates.
He's in his sixth season, yet he's only 23. So far, his career has been marked by inconsistency, so that's why his current tear is being viewed in many quarters with jaundiced eyes.
Yet Bynum has never been a problem, only an enigma. He's always worked hard and taken direction well. He fits in with his teammates. He has rarely created a story off the court. In short, he has been a model employee, except for the extended medical leaves and the perplexing see-saw nature of his past efforts.
Right now Bynum is serving as a reminder of teams and centers gone by, names like Bill Russell, Willis Reed, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson, who powered their teams with might from the middle.
Make no mistake, Bynum hasn't shown over an extended period of time that he's anywhere near being in their league. But he's just beginning the formal application process of trying to gain membership. That process takes years, and there's no guarantee of admission.
In the meantime, he's also illustrating that big still looms large in the NBA.

By Todd Jacobs for Yahoo Sports
Another excellent article about Drew’s impact on Lakers. Here is excerpt:
Andrew Bynum(notes) is the man behind the Los Angeles Lakers 10-1 run since the NBA All-Star break, and he has many Lakers fans asking a serious question. Does Bynum have what it takes to be the best Lakers center in their history? As a Lakers fan, I have to admit I know many of my fellow Lakers fans will consider this blasphemy.
Bynum is quickly becoming the best center in the NBA and he is already becoming the player other teams are game planning against. Bynum is a game changer when he is in the lineup and on the bench. With Bynum on the court, teams are forced to shoot from the outside and they better not miss because the rebound will be contested by the big man Bynum.
In Bynum's last three games he has owned the boards and he is becoming more dominant as the season progresses. Bynum grabbed 12 rebounds against the Heat, 15 boards against the Dallas Mavericks and Bynum out did himself against Dwight Howard(notes) and the Orlando Magic by pulling down 18 rebounds and adding four blocked shots in the Lakers win.
Bynum's performance helped the Lakers pick up the slack from an ailing Kobe Bryant(notes). Bryant's shot making ability was off in the game although he did score 17 points. Kobe's missed shots led to several of Bynum's rebounds in the game.
Now with Bynum taking his game to another level, the debates have already begun as to where Bynum will eventually stack up in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers Hall of Fame centers. Kareem Abdul-Jabaar has long been considered the Lakers best center in their history but where do all the Lakers centers match up?
After Abdul-Jabaar there is much debate as to who is the next best center. Is the next best Lakers center of all time Shaquille O'Neal(notes), Wilt Chamberlain or the original No. 99, George Mikan. Mikan is a name that is left out of the great Lakers centers. Mikan played with the Lakers when they were based in Minneapolis but even though he never played in Los Angeles with the Lakers, he deserves to be in the conservation.
Where does Andrew Bynum fit among these great Lakers centers? He has not cracked the top four as of yet but Bynum already ranks higher than Vlade Divac, Eldon Campbell and the remainder of the Los Angeles Lakers former big men.
The upside of Bynum is that he is still only 23 years old and he will be a dominant force in the Lakers lineup for many years to come. The down side of Bynum is his battle with the injury bug. Bynum has struggled to stay healthy with the Lakers in virtually every season but 2011 has been different.
Bynum is healthy and confident for the first time in his career and if he can stay physically fit and mentally tough through the NBA Playoffs not team will be able to play with the Lakers.

This is a good morning to be LakerTom -- all the Bynum love going around! Hell, it's a great morning to be a Lakers fan: Bynum is starting to dominate, the Lakers are rounding into championship form, and we've quietly moved into 2nd place in the West.

Go Lake Show!

@OUTLAW... Time to get Baby Outlaw his AB17 jersey. Since I have to squeeze into my KB8 jersey, I’m thinking it may be time to upgrade to a KB24 AND AB17 jerseys for the stretch run.

1 day at a time people................

More stim and ice for Kobe to get back our offensive foundation.

I wonder how Theo is doing really, although I would be shocked to see him on the playoff roster. Seems like that will be Kobe, DF, LO, RA, PG, AB, SB * 2, MB, LW, DC, JS.

It's interesting to notice that nobody criticizes Gasol playing soft anymore ever since Bynum has started to play well!!!!

Ashley - nice profile. Thanks for representing Laker Nation and best wishes on acheiving your goal of working with children.

LT - Thanks for the AB articles. The first two were good. The last one was a bit much imho.

Not one comment for Ashley?

Ashley - You go on with your bad camping, laying by the pool, hanging at the beach, shopping self. Take us to a Higher Ground!

I hope she moisturizes after washing her face. Doesn't she read this thing?

Laker Tom - thanks for the articles!


I'll follow your "teacher" theme with one of my favorites. Ashley...I sure your students will feel this way about you.

Lulu - To Sir With Love

LTLF & ChicNstu - excellent selections!

Great articles regarding Bynum but really, is anyone surprised? All of this "goodness" comes with one caveat: Can he remain healthy and avoid mishaps on the court? That is the only question that arises whenever the topic is about Andrew Bynum.

Many of us have posted here early in the season how it was VITAL to have Andrew on the court and the difference he makes on the court. I personally went as far as saying that he's the actual MVP on this team and that there is no championship without him as long as he can remain on the court.

So far, history is on our side. We usually lose him after half a season just when his game is approaching its peak but it usually happens during the 1st half where he is compromised or completely absent for the remainder of the season.

This year, we have him approaching full capacity after the All Star break which bodes well for the team. He has a lot of rest on that body and barring any freak accidents on the court, he takes this team into the Finals and beyond with a deserving and genuine chance - if he is used properly - of being the Finals MVP. Yes, as we know, he really is that good which brings this organization to an agonizing point: If Dwight is available do you make that trade?

As “LakerTom” has pointed out in the past, there's a championship this season that must be won so there is plenty of time to make that decision if and when the scenario presents itself. Today, Bynum is available, he's playing his butt off, he has a great attitude, has embraced his role on this team and all we can hope for is that as long as he's available, the entire team takes notice of what they have and utilize his size and abilities to the fullest extent.
However, if that scenario was today, I make the trade! Dwight doesn’t get to play with Kobe, Pau and Lamar. He doesn’t have access to a great organization that the Lakers provide so if he was on board, his game would be that much better and in all likelihood, would be available for an entire season. Again, the key phrase is “IF that scenario was today.” We will all get to see what the future holds once it becomes the present. Until then, onward to the playoffs and beyond!

"Everything about the Lakers is geared toward winning playoff games. It's what they do." J.A. Adande

"Even when we didn’t make the playoffs, I thought we'd win the championship." Dr. Buss

Go Lakers & In Buss We Trust!!

Laker Tom,

Bynum better than Kareem, Chamberlain or Mikan?

I don't know.

As good as Shaq? Maybe. He seems to have a more diverse skill set.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.




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