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Eric Peterson, Published April 17 2011

Back on big stage: F-M Acro Team to perform during NBA playoff game

FARGO - The F-M Acro Team is back in the NBA postseason, an appearance that was finalized only a few days go.

“The other NBA games that we have done have been fun, but I have never done a playoff game so I’m excited to do something new,” said Acro Team member Katie Nelson, a senior at Fargo North.

Tonight will mark the second time F-M Acro has performed at the halftime of an NBA playoff game in the team’s four decades of existence. The last time the Acro Team performed for an NBA playoff game was more than 10 years ago.

“It’s been nice to just be asked to go somewhere especially so far away from our area because they don’t know us that well around there,” F-M Acro Team head coach Lindsey Abeln said.

Tonight’s performance is likely the final for this season. The Acro Team has performed at the halftime of 18 basketball games around the country prior to tonight, including the Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks, the University of Kansas, the University of Wisconsin and Notre Dame.

To this point, the show at Notre Dame has been Nelson’s season highlight.

“That was really exciting because it was something new,” Nelson said. “Everyone has heard of Notre Dame.”

The F-M Acro Team found out Wednesday night that it was going to perform at halftime of the Thunder’s home playoff game. F-M Acro Team executive director Kathy Klug said the Thunder are paying $7,000 for bus costs and one night of lodging, but that won’t cover the total cost of the trip.

“The excitement and the atmosphere I think it’s going to be amazing,” said Klug, who has been with the Acro Team for 30 years. “People still get goose bumps and excited when they see kids working hard together.”

Abeln said 26 athletes will make the trip to Oklahoma City, ranging in age from 10 to 18 years old. The squad normally performs with 32, but because the performance was finalized so late some team members were unable to make the trip.

Nelson, who started with the Acro Team at age 5, is happy to get another chance to perform.

“I’m excited because I’m going to miss it when I’m done,” Nelson said. “I’m excited to get one more time.”

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