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For hard-of-hearing dancer, Brooklyn Nets provide a fanfare

Vako Gvelesiani was two years old when a high fever cost him half his hearing. Now 13, the son of Georgian immigrants is raising a clamor inside Barclays Center as a member of the Nets Kids dancers, one whose wild, curly hair makes him distinctive.

Other members of the popular troupe have danced for the President and with Beyonce' but Vako's big break is now. Selected as one of 17 dancers, from a group of 500, the Bensonhurst native loves the game and dance.

"I’m a big Brooklyn Nets fan," says Vako, explaining to writer Denis Hamill his motivation for trying out last year. "I play hoops with all my neighborhood pals. I got some moves, yeah, but I don’t know if I’m ready to go against Joe Johnson yet. But I was always searching the Nets website for upcoming events."

The audition was an event and he made the squad with no one knowing of his disability, one that requires his teachers to wear special audio-enhancing FM radio microphones that send signals to his hearing aids. Kimberlee Garris, who's in charge of all the Nets dance teams, said that just endeared Vako more to the Nets. And like his teachers, his dance coaches made adjustments.
"It made us admire him all the more," says Garris. "Not only was he a great dancer, but he had overcome an adversity."