Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra met his wife Nikki Sapp through his long tenure with the South Florida NBA franchise.
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Erik Spoelstra's Wife is a Former Miami Heat Cheerleader

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has risen through the ranks of the South Florida NBA 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 National Basketball Association franchise inside and out. And if it wasn't for his ascension, he wouldn't have met his wife, former Miami Heat cheerleader Nikki Sapp.

How Erik Spoelstra Met Wife Nikki Sapp

Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage

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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.

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 Gallery 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 family's life on social media.

The Spoelstra Family Grew Stronger Through Son's Cancer

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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 of his second son. Assistant coach Dan Craig assumed head coaching duties for each absence.

In the summer of 2022, the world learned about the family's hidden struggle with Santiago's health. After being diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma days after his fourth birthday, Nikki told the world in an Instagram post that her son's cancer was in remission. She also thanked the Nicklaus Children's Hospital staff, who we're sure made the Eastern Conference family feel like All-Stars.


In September 2022, the couple welcomed a third child, daughter Ruby Grace, much to the delight of her siblings.

Coach Spo has only missed a few Heat games during his tenure as the Heat coach, either for the birth of his children or for a medical procedure for one of them.

The guy who guided LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh to NBA championships in 2012 and 2013 returned to the NBA Finals in 2020 but fell to James and the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. This season, the Heat went under the radar and knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks in the NBA playoffs. Spoelstra's team — led by Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro — is is dead set on returning to the Finals. But first, he has to get passed the Boston Celtics.

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

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