The idea started with a video tryout in Miami that went viral. Several months, and five teams later, the idea is about to hit a court near you.
The Philadelphia Diamonds, the city's franchise in the newly-created Bikini Basketball Association, is tuning up its roster. The Diamonds have scheduled their first game for June 29 at the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory on Roosevelt Boulevard. Tickets go on sale Monday.
"Our goal is to dominate the season, dominate the whole division," said assistant coach Alease Tabb. "This just isn't about looks, we want to be competitive, we're looking to win."
The Diamonds boast 13 sexy, athletic girls — most with legitimate collegiate basketball experience. They'll play by WNBA rules, while wearing form-fitting sports bras and spandex shorts.
There are currently five teams signed up — the Houston Inferno, Las Vegas Fantasy, Philadelphia Diamonds, Miami Spice, Illinois Heat. The Diamonds held an informal meet-and-greet last week at Buffalo Wild Wings in Northeast Philadelphia.
"I'm doing this for love of the game, plus it's an opportunity to get paid to play," said center Daynese Stowe, who starred at Maryland Eastern-Shore and played AAU ball for the Philadelphia Belles. "I had an opportunity to play overseas after college, but I had a bad agent. I'm hoping this can open some doors, in the basketball world and the modeling world."
Stowe, an intimidating beauty who stands at 6-foot-2, does freelance modeling on the side. She also runs her own business, Towers of Beauty, a hostessing company that uses tall, attractive women to drive traffic for local businesses.
"I do a little bit of everything," Stowe said. "I'm also a pretty good volleyball player."
Some players showed up last week in high heels; others in colorful sneakers. Angel Stephens, a forward who scored 1,000 career points at Cheyney University, was flashing shiny earrings. An informal poll revealed that sporting heels on the court isn't a good idea, but the earrings ...
"Earrings in," Stephens said. "Diamonds are forever."
Stephens, like her teammates, is in it to win it. She also admitted that if she can use it to leverage her career, she will. Stephens once served as an assistant basketball coach at Eastern University.
"I want to broaden my horizons," Stephens said. "This is another opportunity to get back into basketball, maybe return to coaching, hopefully grow as a person."