Reeling off Mei-Ling Lam's passions is a slam dunk. They begin and end with her beloved Boston Celtics. "Kevin Garnett is my favorite player, but I also love Paul Pierce and Ray Allen," our 27-year-old Miss June says about the team's trio of stars, dubbed the Big Three. "Truthfully, though, I love the Celtics, period, because there's nothing like them and their fans. The atmosphere is absolutely electric during games. Even when they're playing the worst team in the league, their fans are bonkers. I know I am – especially when the refs make a bad call. It drives me crazy!" Mei-Ling, the daughter of a Chinese restaurateur father and a French Canadian mother, got hooked on the Celtics as a kid when her older brother would routinely drive her from their Clinton, Maine home down to the TD Garden in Boston. In those days her love of the Celtics was rivaled only by her fervor for beauty pageants. "I lived, breathed and ate pageants," the 2001 Miss Maine Teen USA says. "I adored the dresses and getting all dolled up." As for posing for Playboy, Mei-Ling is merely doing what comes naturally. "The truth is that during my pageant days I was always running around naked backstage because of how quickly the wardrobe changes took place. So as crazy as it sounds, I never felt naked when I was shooting my pictorial. In fact, I loved it. I'm simply celebrating womanhood and embracing how comfortable I feel in my own skin." Then, as if Ray Allen had just made a victorious buzzer-beating three-pointer, she exclaims, "I'm so excited about my future!"
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