College Sports

Red Panda gets new unicycle courtesy of the Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors are stepping up after acrobat Red Panda had her custom-fit unicycle stolen from an airport.

Warriors officials convened and decided to donate a new unicycle for Rong Niu, 42, an NBA and college basketball halftime performer who balances plates and bowls as part of her act.

“The Red Panda is legendary and absolutely loved and adored by everyone, especially our fans and season tickets holders. She’s been a staple at Warriors games for many years and we need for that to continue in the future,” Warriors president Rick Welts said in a statement to Bay Area News Group. “What better way to put her in position to succeed than with a new, custom made unicycle? We look forward to her next appearance at Oracle Arena and are glad that we could do our small part to help this great tradition continue.”

Red Panda has performed at the ACC tournament and other conference basketball games, including UNC’s Jan. 30 game at Clemson where she dropped several plates while using a backup unicycle.

Red Panda’s 7-foot unicycle was stolen at the San Francisco International Airport on Jan. 24. The bike cost around $25,000. She missed one performance last week and then used a backup bike.

Sam Newkirk: 919-829-4526, @samnewkirk64

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