Other than championships, locker rooms usually don’t host many celebrations.
On Friday, though, a locker room in Madison Square Garden will be the backdrop for two diehard basketball fans who are tying the knot.
Katrina Poulos and Michelle May are set to say their “I do’s” inside the New York Liberty women’s basketball team’s locker room around 2 p.m. in front of a small group of family and friends.
The basketball loving couple — who have been season ticket holders for the team since 2014 — initially planned to get married in Las Vegas. They scrapped that after asking if it was possible to have engagment photos taken on the baseketball court and finding out they could get married in the locker room.
“We were so excited,” May said. “To us, this is us. This is something that represents us, it’s what we enjoy doing together.”
The couple, who have been together for the past four years after meeting online, attend New York Liberty games as often as possible, and encourage family and friends to join them.
Poulos, who is from Miami, said she has been a fan of the team since 1997 and feels like she grew up with the team. May, a native New Yorker, was a regular basketball fan, but said she got hooked on the Liberty the first time she went to a game.
On Friday afternoon, both women will be wearing traditional wedding dresses, but, in keeping with the basketball theme, they’ll be wearing custom-made converse sneakers featuring their wedding date, names and a rainbow heart.
The Long Island couple also decided to include their love for basketball in other aspects of their wedding – the cake topper will feature them with a basketball, and a WNBA ball with their photo on it.
The wedding, the first to take place inside the locker room, will also be the kickoff for the annual Pride Night celebration at Madison Square Garden, and both women say they feel lucky to be able to celebrate their special day while also celebrating LGBT pride.
“It’s just amazing to be able to share Pride Night,” May said. “I think it’s amazing that we can do something like this.”
Poulos added that it’s great to see Madison Square Garden and the NY Liberty strongly show their support for the LGBT community.
“When you look at the team and you look at the arena, it’s a family. It’s amazing for us to be kicking off such an amazing night not just for the gay community but really for the community,” Poulous said. “We’re just two people that love each other and love the game.”
As part of the Pride Night celebrations, which begin at 7:30 p.m. when the NY Liberty take on the Chicago Sky, the first 5,000 fans will receive #OrlandoUnited wristbands. Attendees will also be able to participate in a NOH8 campaign open photo shoot. The photo shoot — which costs $40 for single photos and $25 per person for group photos —is located outside the MSG box office in Chase Square from 4 to 8 p.m.
The night will also feature a performance by Lez Zeppelin, an all-female tribute band performing songs by Led Zeppelin, during the halftime show.
The New York Liberty will be donating $5,000 to the OneOrlando Fund, created to help the community in Orland following the June 12 mass shooting. The Liberty’s Pride Month partner Resorts World Casino NYC will make a matching donation of $5,000
“We are celebrating pride with the Liberty, it’s the biggest wedding reception that you can ever have,” May said. “No matter who is there that night, we all have one thing in common and it’s loving the Liberty.”