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Erik Spoelstra Married a Former Miami Heat Cheerleader
Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP (left), Screenshot from YouTube (right)

Erik Spoelstra has risen through the ranks of the Miami Heat organization. He started as a video coordinator in 1995 and accelerated to an assistant coach position in addition to his video coordinating duties after two years.

In 1999, he left his video role behind and was promoted to advance scout to accompany his coaching responsibilities. He rose to the director of scouting in 2001 and held that position until he was hand-picked as Pat Riley‘s successor as head coach in 2008.

Spoelstra knows the franchise inside and out. If it wasn’t for his ascension and time spent in South Florida, he wouldn’t have met his wife, former Miami Heat cheerleader Nikki Sapp.

Erik Spoelstra’s Wife Nikki

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Nikki Sapp-Spoelstra has always had a passion for dance and art. She danced for the Heat from 2005 to 2008 while finishing her Art History degree at Florida International University. She met Spo in her last year with the Heat. The couple started dating after she left the team.

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Mrs. Spoelstra carries her passion for dance into teaching. She instructs children from kindergarten through high school all over South Florida. She’s served as the head coach of the Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM) Academy School.

The former Heat dancer dabbled in the art world by becoming the gallery director for the Guy Hepner Contemporary Art Galley in Los Angeles in 2010. The next year, she opened a Miami gallery for Hepner.

The two got engaged on September 17, 2015, and tied the knot on July 22, 2016. Nikki Spoelstra posts regularly about her life on social media.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the Spoelstras donated over 140 meals from Lime Fresh Mexican Grill to first responders working at three COVID-19 testing sites in South Florida.

Erik & Nikki Spoelstra’s Kids

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and his wife Nikki welcomed their first child, Santiago Ray Spoelstra, on March 25, 2018. He missed the subsequent game against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis.

Santiago became a big brother on December 5, 2019, when Dante Nicholas Spoelstra became the newest member of the family. The American professional basketball coach was absent for Miami’s game against the Boston Celtics the previous night to be by Nikki’s side for the birth. Assistant coach Dan Craig assumed head coaching duties for each absence.

Coach Spo has only missed two games during his tenure as the Heat coach, both for the birth of his children.

The guy who guided LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh to titles in 2012 and 2013 is as close as he’s ever been to returning to the league’s biggest stage. After beating the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the second round of the playoffs, Spoelstra’s team — led by Jimmy Butler — is playing the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.

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Spoelstra and Denver Nuggets head coach Mike Malone voiced alternate opinions concerning coaching staffs’ ability to bring family members into the NBA Bubble in Orlando. Spoelstra misses his family as much as anyone, but understood the league’s safety precautions. Malone was vehemently against the coaches’ restrictions to their families.

The NBA permitted coaching staffs to 10 total guests, who can enter the NBA Bubble as one group per team on September 21.

Spoelstra’s family is the only thing that takes priority over his dedication to the Heat.

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Joe Grobeck About the author:
Joe is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and lives in Austin, Texas. He believes Ndaumkong Suh should've won the 2009 Heisman and is an avid basketball fan.
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