BLOOMINGTON — The nearly 7 foot failed first. Standing on a chair, the referee then failed. The ball, somehow wedged between the back of the backboard and the timer behind it, just beyond the reach of a Saint Mary player and a chair officer hoisting a green mop bat into the air.
Matthias Tass, a Saint Mary forward, who failed to catch the ball the first time, had the next idea. Behind the basket at the Moda Center in Portland were the Indiana cheerleaders. Another Saint Mary player waved at them, waving someone up.
“The tallest, Nathan, you go!” Cheerleading team captain Ethan Ferguson yelled.
Then Nathan Paris stood up. Cassidy Cerny jumped too. She wanted to go, apparently screaming “I want to go! I wanna go!”
They didn’t realize the TV cameras were on.
Doyel: Yes, I wrote about IU’s cheerleaders. Because they deserve it, and the game doesn’t.
They’ve played with this before. The ball is stuck all the time. To see also : Polish leader Meghan Webster is ready to fly to Hawaii to march and perform in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. Usually a mop is good enough. Somehow it wasn’t on this day – the first round game of IU’s NCAA tournament against Saint Mary’s.
When they sit in their normal spots on the floor, they think about why they didn’t catch the ball on their own when it got stuck earlier. But there is no plan for that moment. There was never a need for one.
Referee Kelly Pfeifer can be heard on the TV broadcast asking for a ladder or a chair. He tried to extend the mop shaft. It doesn’t stretch.
Then it was Paris and Cerny’s turn.
“We were starting to get confused,” Paris said. “Then I start to get nervous thinking, we’re going to have to actually do this.”
Back home in Bloomington after all, sitting in a Wilkinson Hall chair, Paris demonstrated the elevator, a trick called the hand stretch. Cerny would stand in front of Paris and get into what’s called a “hand position” before Paris extends it above his head to complete the stunt. Paris showed how to extend his arms, to keep them locked for Cerny to balance himself and hold his hands at an angle as if Cerny was wearing inch-long heels.
However, in Portland, where Paris lifted Cerny, they weren’t in the right position. Paris had to walk around holding Cerny above her head.
“I was like, ‘I really hope I don’t do this stunt in front of the whole stadium,” Paris said. “I set the scene because I knew they wanted us to hurry up, and I put it about six feet away from where we needed to be. So I was like, ‘Well, I’m going to have to walk over there’.”
Indiana cheerleaders save the day
They passed under the basket, Cerny bending his knees to duck under the basket’s mast – a trip that Cerny and Paris made seem a lot easier than they said it was. On the same subject : See: The Best Swimsuit Photos Illustrated by NFL Cheerleader.
Safely under the basket, Paris positioned himself and lifted Cerny a little higher. Finally, it was enough. Cerny grabbed the ball to applause and waved with delight as she and Paris ran off the floor.
They barely had time to enjoy their moment, running off the ground not knowing if they could step in the wrong place on the ground where they weren’t allowed and earn a technical foul called Indiana.
And the TV cameras caught it all.
“Why not the cheerleaders, they’re used to going up high,” Andrew Catalon began on the TBS broadcast.
“Yes! Raise the cheerleader,” he continued as Paris lifted Cerny into the air. “Take her over there! That’s how it’s done!”
Cameras then showed Cerny reaching for the ball.
“Oh, she has! What a game! Cheerleaders save the day! This is your shining moment,” Catalon finished as the crowd roared. “The cheerleader is the hero in Portland!”
When the game ended and they turned on their phones to the barrage of messages and viewing the broadcast, TV interview requests came quickly. They were interviewed for “Good Morning America” at 3am in Portland. They would go to “The Today Show” live about 15 minutes early.
The messages and attention kept coming.
Cerny is an RA on Briscoe Quad. All of its residents have sent you messages about the play.
“We just saw you on TV!” some texts said.
“You are famous!” read another.
At IU’s women’s basketball game against Charlotte at the Assembly Hall on Saturday, Cerny and Paris sat together and were featured on the broadcast. People came up to them in the game, asking to take pictures with them.
“I thought it would start to fade, I update my Instagram with another like, another comment,” Cerny said.
“It’s a little scary at first, you think about being watched by so many people,” Paris said. “But that’s our job as cheerleaders. We must lead our fan base. It’s just a wider scale at this point.
“We were just talking about this last night. Let’s just enjoy it, let’s just be in the moment.”
This includes Cerny getting a name, image and likeness (NIL) deal with clothing company Breaking T to sell T-shirts featuring her with “Cheerleader saves the day!” turn on.
The now-viral duo of Cerny and Paris took very different paths to wear IU cheerleading uniforms to a March Madness game in Portland. Both are natives of Indiana. Read also : Uncovering the history of Huskers’ cheer: former UNL cheerleader Debra White writes book about supporters. Only one actually imagined himself rooting for IU.
At 5, Cerny started doing gymnastics. And at 13 she woke up one morning totally tired of it.
Then Cerny started cheering in eighth grade. She went to Avon High School where she was part of the cheerleading squad.
“In my freshman year I knew I wanted to root for IU,” Cerny said. “That was a very big goal for me. It was like a dream come true.”
Paris is in her senior year at IU, and before half her time in college, she had never cheered in her life.
In high school at the Christian Academy of Indiana in New Albany, Paris played baseball and basketball. But he also played alto saxophone in the high school band. He came to IU and joined the Marching Hundred.
At basketball and football games, the Marching Hundred is seated right behind the cheerleaders. So Paris watched almost every game for two years.
“I saw what the cheerleading squad was doing and I thought, ‘This looks so cool,'” Paris said. “So that’s where I tried. I joined two years ago. It has been life changing ever since.”
The cheerleading squad needed guys that year, and as a former player in many sports, Paris had the athleticism to make the team. He received help from the cheerleading squad to learn many of the fundamentals of the sport.
“It was terrifying, absolutely terrifying,” Paris said of the test.
When Paris joined the team, Cerny joined as a freshman. She was already experienced, Paris was not. They were often paired up – Paris as a base, Cerny the aviator. And much of the initial time they had to work together was at the beginning of the pandemic month, when it was hard to find time to be with each other.
So they atrophied outside, regardless of the weather. It was one of the few opportunities they had to practice.
They never had big drops, Cerny and Paris said, but especially the hand-holding lifts were difficult at first. A pamphlet isn’t always paired with a specific base, Cerny said. So they continued to practice during the pandemic and now, after two years, more elite stunts are starting.
“I remember the first time we were atrophying, you can tell when it starts to get better,” said Cerny, the most experienced. “You can definitely tell who has potential and who doesn’t. He definitely does.”
They’ve been cheering together for almost two years. And it has earned its place on the travelers list – among the team’s most prestigious assignments.
They were selected for the NCAA tournament, the first time for any of them – Cerny now a sophomore and Paris a senior – to go to March Madness.
The Portland trip was far from planned. They were on that flight to Portland, delayed in Dayton until 4 am ET, with a plane change and luggage left behind before finally arriving in Portland at around 6 am PDT.
And IU’s performance against Saint Mary’s didn’t give much to celebrate. But for Cerny and Paris, it will be a moment they will remember forever. There’s even a t-shirt.
Who has won the most NCAA basketball championships?
College basketball teams with the most national championships
- UCLA – 11.
- Kentucky – 8.
- North Carolina — 6.
- Duke – 5.
- Indian — 5.
- Kansas – 4.
- UConn — 4.
- Vilanova — 3.
Who has won March Madness in the last 5 years?
Who is the cheerleader that got the ball down?
While Indiana dropped out at the start of the 2022 NCAA Tournament, one Hoosier stood out from the crowd. And he wasn’t a basketball player. Indiana cheerleader Cassidy Cerny became an overnight sensation when she helped pull a stuck ball off the backboard during a game.
Who is the Indiana cheerleader? The Indiana cheerleaders who have gone viral on social media are Cassidy Cerny and Nathan Paris. They made an appearance on the TODAY show. “For us to be doing something that generates that kind of reaction is something that happens once in a lifetime,” Paris said. It was certainly an unforgettable experience for both of them.