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Harry Potter and Hogwarts in the Heart of Tulsa Hoopers


When the clock strikes midnight on Thursday, muggle-borns across the United States will flock to see the wizarding world perform its last act in the adventures of everyone's favorite half-blood, Harry Potter.

Two of the tallest muggles in Tulsa, Liz Cambage and Kayla Pedersen, might not be lining up at the movies after their game versus Los Angeles. But Harry Potter fever hasn't escaped the pair. In fact, these Tulsa Shock rookies might know more about Hogwarts and its residents than you might expect.

Cambage has not been shy in pronouncing her affinity to the magical world on Twitter, even asking her followers for their favorite spells. Her tip off was a cue to broach the subject in depth, especially considering the upcoming release of the last movie in the 8-part series. Cambage herself volunteered Pedersen as a fellow fan, and provided an outlet for the pair to share a piece of their pop culture pedigree.

The teammates in Tulsa would both expect to be placed in Gryffindor upon their arrival to the Scottish campus of Hogwarts, to take their place at the long dining room tables next to the likes of Harry, Ron and Hermione, Pedersen's favorite character.

"Is that even a question?," Cambage asked when the subject of the Sorting Hat was broached. "I'd be hanging out with Hermione and Harry and Ron for sure. I'd be the fourth! Gryffindor for shizzle!"

The classmates wearing scarlet and gold Gryffindor scarves would pass through the common room guarded by The Fat Lady to traipse to class. For Pedersen, Potions is the preference. For Cambage, a trip to Defense Against the Dark Arts would be on the class schedule, just as long as her least favorite professor - Snape - wasn't the teacher.

When the two were skilled enough wizards to conjure a petronus while in Charms class, you'd see very distinctive protectors emerge at the flick of the wand and words "Expecto Petronum!" For Kayla, a rather unconventional animal shield might fit right in on the streets of Diagon Alley or the hills around Hagrid's house.

"I've got to say, just for my family - they call me the Sasquatch, so I would have that," Pedersen said. "It's awful, but I've got to do it for them."

And for the "big cat" as she called herself, Liz would expect a lion or leopard to come to the aid of this Leo.

After class while roaming the maze of halls of Hogwarts, Pedersen would be sure to join the Quiddich team alongside Harry, vying to catch the golden snitch. Cambage, the bruiser in the middle on the basketball court isn't so sure, however.

"I don't know, I think it's a bit full-on for me," Cambage said of the magical sport. "I'd be a really good broomstick rider I think, but I don't think I have enough coordination. It looks really, really aggressive."

Perhaps Liz would wait by the window for owl mail to fly her way instead of the snitch.

"I would do anything for a Hedwig, and I'm obsessed animals," Cambage said. "I really love animals, and I'd love a pet owl to go get my mail."

One piece of mail that Liz shouldn't expect to get is a golden ticket to a premiere movie showing, as most weekend audiences are already booked after $35 million of pre-sale tickets being sold around the nation. But if you were to run across Cambage at a Tulsa theater? Don't be surprised if her height was one of her only giveaways to her actual identity.

"I would dress up, I would dress up as Harry Potter," Cambage said. "That's what we do back home in Australia, everyone dresses up for the premiere. I'd have to dress up, scar and everything."

For these two players in full swing of the WNBA season, while both are Potter fans, both also have a job to do Friday against the LA Sparks that will prevent an opening-night viewing regardless of securing tickets. Cambage might be willing to wait a while to see the last installment of the Potter series.

"I might wait a couple of weeks until it dies down a bit," Liz said. "I know it's not going to die down for a while, but I don't really like going to the movies when it's really busy because people talk. I like to have my one-on-one time with Harry Potter."

For Pedersen, she's not as keen to wait to see the movie, first suggesting going to the flick on Saturday before hearing news that team might be traveling in preparations to face the Liberty on Sunday.

"The next day. Private screening. I'm going to call up the producer."

Or maybe she'll grab a Time Turner and just do both.


How did you get started? Books or movies?

EC: I read some of the first book and that was it. I have all the books and I never got into them when I was little. I was always like painting and drawing, but I was never really a reader. Yeah, when the movies came out.

KP: I saw some of the movies and my brother (Kyle) actually got me into Harry Potter. He just said 'you should just read these' one summer, so I read them all and couldn't put them down.

Most memorable moment?

EC: I was crying so much when Hedwig died. I was so upset because they did not embrace Hedwig's death enough. All she did was fall and drop out of the sky and she just disappeared and there was nothing else to it. I was a hot mess after that.

Favorite teacher?

EC: Dumbledore was my favorite, because he reminded me so much of my grandpa.

KP: Snape. I would convert him. We would have a good bond.

Favorite book/movie?

EC: Which is the Wizard's Cup one, what was that called? That one's my favorite. There's so much good in that one, so much happens! (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Book Four)

KP: The seventh (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)

Are you happy or sad for the last Harry Potter movie?

EC: 50/50. It's going to be over. But the thing is, is I can read the books now.

KP: I'm happy to see it, but sad that the series has come to an end.