With tip-off of new Pistons season, Sparrow Caregiver gears up to begin third year as team cheerleader

LANSING, Mich. - By day, she works in Sparrow's Department of Learning and Organizational Development. But when the Detroit Pistons tip-off tonight for their season opener, Renee Verscheure will be on the floor to begin her third season as a team cheerleader.

"It's very exciting. There's always a lot going on at the Palace," Verscheure said. "The atmosphere there is always so loud and so electric."

Verscheure beat out dozens of other hopefuls to earn a spot on the 22-person team two years ago. She first found out about the opportunity from her college cheerleading coach and figured she'd give it a shot.

"I never actually thought I'd get to this point," she said. "It's very surreal. Cheering has always been such a big part of my life but I never expected to be cheering on the Pistons."

Verscheure said Sparrow and cheering really aren't that different.

"The jobs are very similar in that I'm a part of a close-knit team," she said. "Both have this family like atmosphere that really make them stand out from other organizations."

When the regular season begins tonight, Verscheure and her teammates will be ready. They've prepared a Halloween performance with a huge light show.

"It's something the fans will really enjoy," Verscheure said. "We've been working on it for weeks now and it's going to be a great show."