Andres Baines soars for a dunk in Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 22 at halftime of the K-State women's basketball game vs. West Virginia. (Photo by Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics)
February 23, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
They dunk, they dazzle and yesterday afternoon, members of the Sky Squad took over Bramlage Coliseum for a very special halftime performance.
Fans in attendance of K-State women's basketball game against West Virginia had the opportunity to see the Sky Squad in action as the 5-man team took the court and threw down some crazy slam dunks.
Andres Baines, or the "Sky Guy" as he is known when he performs, is the lead man and founder of the Sky Squad. Baines has been performing from a young age starting on the streets of inner city Chicago and has since grown his passion of mixing acrobatics and basketball into a very busy career.
Baines founded Sky Squad 10 years ago and has since performed on stages nation-wide.
"We work with the WNBA, and we also work with different circuses - Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey, Universal Circus," began Baines. "Recently, we were on the Steve Harvey show, and overall, I'd say we do about 150 shows a year."
The 10-minute show consists of the team sprinting down the court, jumping off of trampolines and dunking the basketball. Each performer puts his own unique touch on his dunk, and did everything from spinning in the air to tossing the ball off the backboard to a front flip before getting to the rim.
While the Sky Squad only brings five or six performers on the road, Baines said back home in Chicago, his group consists of nearly 20 basketball gymnasts and was created as a means to help out in his community.
"We start at the age of 15," he explained. "Originally we founded this team as sort of an outreach source for kids in our community so they could showcase their athletic talents, because how many kids haven't pushed their trampolines up to their garage at home or tried things like this?"
Yesterday afternoon was the first time the Sky Squad visited K-State, and from the energetic fans to the energy the Wildcat Band brought to the court, Baines said it's a place he hopes to visit again soon.
"This is our first time at K-State, and we love it," he said after his performance. "The band is awesome - the band here is great. It's definitely one of the best bands we've seen so far, and we've been touring to different colleges over the past few weeks. The whole facility is awesome, everything, it's been a great experience. We'd love to come back."
K-State holds special halftime performances at three women's basketball games out of the team's nine home Big 12 games each season.
Earlier in the year, at halftime of K-State's game against Kansas on January 25, the Alexandria Aces, a group of 5-12-year-olds who specialize in dribbling, juggling and ball spinning tricks, took the court and had fans on their feet as they did cartwheels and flips while spinning a basketball on just one finger.
On January 18, at halftime of K-State's game against Iowa State, The Magic of JP Wilson - a performer among the best magic acts to take court in the sports world - stunned fans with his complex illusions and stunning magic tricks.
After yesterday's 61-40 loss to No. 13 West Virginia, K-State women's basketball (10-16, 4-11 Big 12) will travel to Oklahoma State on Saturday to take on the Cowgirls (25-5, 9-5 Big 12) at 2 p.m.
For a complete recap of yesterday's game, as well as a full weekend of Wildcat events, click here.
We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh, Mark Janssen or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.