WICHITA, Kan. One of the main draws for prospective athletes to Wichita State, is the atmosphere inside Charles Koch Arena on game days. That atmosphere, the product of a lot of hard work from people behind the scenes, and the people sharing the court.
"It started over the summer, we met with the kids three times a week doing strength training and conditioning, trying to get them ready for the season," said Wichita State Cheer Coach Kevin King.
For many of these athletes, being a Shocker is a dream.
"I had to pinch myself from day one," said Jessica Nitcher. "I still have to pinch myself before every first game of the season, whether it's men's basketball, or women's or volleyball, I still pinch myself."
Kaliegh Black is a second generation Shocker cheerleader. Her mom cheered for Wichita State while she was in college.
"She knows all of the cheers," Black said. "She knows all of the chants. At our last game she actually did one of the dances and we recorded it."
Josh and Kaleb Johnson also share a family bond through Shocker Cheer. Josh has cheered all four years of college, and convinced Kaleb to transfer in and join him.
"That's just a bond that no one else understands, its always good that I can look over at the side of the mat and know if he is doing well, then I will too," Josh said.
"This has brought us back together and made our relationship stronger both on and off the mat," Kaleb agreed.
The Spirit Squad is constantly entertaining the crowd between the action, not just at basketball games. Aside from those duties, these athletes are also competing, and in a few weeks, they put their skills to the test at the Universal Cheer Association World Championships in Orlando, Florida.