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Wizards looking for new in-arena host and hype squad members

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Think you have what it takes to keep the crowd in it? The Wizards are searching for a new game host and hype squad members for the 2014-15 season.

Photo courtesy of Stewart W. Small

Man, the summer has flown by. After a strong offseason, Summer League, and #KD2DC chatter, the Wizards players are now starting to get back to Verizon Center for pre-training camp warm-ups. We're less than a month away from preseason games. Before you know it, it's opening night.

There are also opportunities for you to have a direct impact with the crowd at Verizon Center and the Game Operations Department this season. As you might have guessed, these gigs will require that you must be able to attend almost every Wizards game. But since they are now a relevant NBA team, this shouldn't be a bad thing by any means.

The most notable position is a vacancy for an in-arena co-host. According to an email sent to season ticket holders, the new co-host will work alongside current co-host Rodney Rikai, who is returning for his second season. Rikai is the man who is announcing the Wizards' starting lineups, and those "D.C. Three" calls after John Wall makes a patented whip-around pass to the corner.

More on the in-game experience

The new co-host would replace GeNienne Samuels, who served in that capacity for three seasons since the 2011-12 campaign. Before being an in-arena host, Samuels was one of the Wizard Girls from 2009-10 through 2010-11 seasons, and also spent eight years as a cheerleader for the Washington Redskins NFL team. According to the Wizards' site, applications will be accepted until Friday, September 26.

Want to throw t-shirts to the crowd and help get fans engaged? The Wizards are also currently holding auditions for the Power Pack, the team's hype squad. There will be auditions on Sunday, September 28 at Verizon Center. Registration's at 1:30 p.m., and the actual tryouts are from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. While you can register in person, you also can do so by clicking here.

I think the key for being a good Power Pack member is to be relatable to the fans. I also hope they have this squad doing more things in the 400-level so fans who sit here can have a better chance to get giveaways. Yes, it's nice to see them on the court, but I would like to see a bigger hype squad so different units can interact with fans anywhere from courtside seats to the nosebleeds.

For the arena host specifically, yes, this person has to be relatable to the fans. But that host also has to be genuine in his or her delivery. While the Wizards have historically used in-game hosts who also were on TV or radio in the past, that's not necessarily a requirement.

For a point of reference, Washington Capitals in-arena host Erin Magee is not a TV anchor or radio DJ. She is a school teacher. Here's an article on her by WTOP's Noah Frank for some perspective. Something else to note from that piece: Magee's also the in-arena host for the Washington Kastles tennis team.

Good luck to all of those who are applying to be the next Wizards in-arena co-host and Power Pack members.