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Brooklyn Nets Host Ally Love Brings Energy to Barclays Center

Ally Love, FCLC ’08, is a familiar presence to anyone who has been to a Nets home game since 2012, when the team moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn. As the team’s in-arena host at the Barclays Center, she keeps the crowd engaged during game breaks. A graduate of the Ailey/Fordham BFA in dance program, she’s also a Peloton instructor, a model, and the founding CEO of Love Squad, a company that hosts workshops designed to empower young women to “lead healthy lives and unleash their power.”

With the Nets having capped off a successful regular season that led to a first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Love spoke with FORDHAM magazine about her game night responsibilities, her passions and pursuits, and what was special about the education she received at Fordham.

How did you first come into the Nets hosting gig?
I fell in love with on-camera work, so I started taking hosting classes. When I finished, I emailed the class reel to everyone in my contacts, most of whom I didn’t even know, letting them know I was open for hosting business. Next thing I knew, I got an email offer to host the Brooklyn Nets!

What does a game night look like for you? Can you walk us through the process and timing from when you get to the arena to when you leave?
I get to Barclays Center two hours prior to tip-off, and we have an entertainment meeting, which includes going over the “run of show” for that evening’s game. Afterwards, I get ready for the game and review my lines. My first hit happens around 7 p.m. if it’s an evening game. Then, I welcome everyone to the game and introduce the teams around 7:10 p.m. From then on, I am on pretty much every timeout during the game. I’m on court and in the stands doing fan interactions, on-court games, interviews, and marketing plugs. I leave at the end of the game.

With the team having such a successful season and now being in the playoffs, have you noticed a change in the atmosphere at Barclays?
Leading up to [and during the] playoffs, the energy is always taken up another level. Brooklyn has something so special about it, as a borough, community, and team, and that energy always spills into the arena. As we got closer to the postseason, you could feel the grit and energy of our team taking it to the next level.

You are also a Peloton instructor, model, and the founder and CEO of Love Squad. How do you balance all that in your day-to-day? And what are your plans for the future in these different areas?
Well, I love all the things I do, so they fuel me. The thing that all of these platforms have in common is the opportunity to affect my community positively by utilizing live, on-camera interaction. I plan to continue to create content that will inspire communities across the world.

I also have big hopes for my company. Love Squad is a big part of who I am and reflects what I stand for, which is diversity, empowerment, and love. I founded it on my own a few years ago and want to continue to grow it into the platform I know it can be. Love Squad creates a space that champions inclusivity and diversity, and deconstructs the disparity in who is able to receive information that could change people’s personal and professional lives. If you have the network, you learn and you’re exposed to more, which offers a chance at a better opportunity in life. So the more we grow, the more people we can help. That’s what my main focus is right now.

You earned your B.F.A. from Fordham through its partnership with the Ailey School. How has your training there impacted your career?
I think it gave me discipline. It afforded me an opportunity to establish a personal metric for success safely, within the construct of school, while experiencing a big city. It also encouraged me to immerse myself in elements that allowed me to be creative, and to use that as a conduit for production beyond basic utility.

What first attracted you to the program at Fordham?
I loved that it was in New York City, specifically right in midtown. I also felt like it was the perfect hybrid of arts, culture, and academics while offering independence, which were very important characteristics.

What did you get out of the combination of a high-level dance program and a Jesuit core curriculum?
I was able to find myself. I was always dancing (pun intended) between the arts and religion. Fordham provided the foundation and opportunity to explore both simultaneously, and it opened my mind to the fact that they were not mutually exclusive. There was room for me to merge both, and it ultimately molded me into the woman I am today.


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