clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pacers Give Fans a Treat

The Pacers' Hoosier Basketball Celebration (formerly known as FanJam) was held all over downtown Indy Sunday afternoon. Judging from the response from my family, it was a rousing success. Here are a few pics from the event. Now, allow me to share the highlights of our day while I explain what went on.

  • We arrived an hour before the dribble parade check in was to start and was surprised to see the line already stretching east from the circle and beginning to head south on Pennsylvania Street.
  • The check in logistics were perfect. Thousands had pre-registered so they had our names, gave us the t-shirt and then sent us to pick up the free basketball.
  • The free ball was far better than expected. Nice red and blue outdoor NBA ball.
  • After grabbing a bite to eat and watching the Colts game for a bit, we went back out to the Circle to prep for the parade. I was happy to see the whole area filled with excited, happy people of all ages, celebrating the Pacers.
  • After a brief ceremony on the Circle, the players and coaches emerged and walked through the crowd to get the dribble parade started.
  • During sharing time tomorrow, my Kindergartener will talk about his high five with Jermaine O'Neal.
  • From there it was a massive dribble fest. All of the players and coaches walked the route to the Fieldhouse with the fans.
  • The dribble parade was sweet! The sound of thousands of basketballs dribbling down Meridian Street delivered a thunderous bass of symphonic quality. Beautiful music for the hoop fan's ears.
  • Once in the fieldhouse, we sat in row two toward the south end of the court. The coaches and players were announced. Boomer and Bowser thrilled the kids by dropping down from the ceiling for their entrance.
  • Jim O'Brien addressed the crowd and mentioned how many of the players had never worked harder than they just did in training camp. I noticed David Harrision lightly nodding his head in agreement. O'B felt success naturally follows hard work so he was excited to get the season started.
  • There were a few different skills challenges that involved the players and a few fans. In one event LaSalle Thompson and Darnell Hillman represented past Pacers.
  • Keeping with the Hoosier Basketball Celebration theme, Mark Boyle talked with Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird separately about developing their Hall of Fame games in Indiana. Great stuff.
  • There wasn't a lot of basketball, but there was plenty of entertainment. At one point, all of the Pacer players and coaches faced off with a group of fans in a Simon Says contest. Some professional Simon Says host, 'Simon Sez Steve' (I'm' not joking) came out and drilled both groups until they were down to one player. Assistant Coach Lester Conner was pretty dominant, winning the Pacers game.
  • What I found particularly  amusing about the Simon Says game, was that Simon Sez Steve couldn't have named one Pacer if you offered him a million dollars to do so. He treated poor LaSalle Thompson like some guy they just pulled in off the street.
  • After the program finished, all the kids were able to go on the court and shoot a basket. Perfect end to a perfect Pacers afternoon for our family.
  • The only negative had absolutely nothing to do with the event or the Pacers. Not surprisingly, there weren't many fans on hand. Seemed like there were more people in the dribble parade than at the Fieldhouse. But either way, the turnout was mildly disappointing.
  • OK, that about does it. With the completion of the fan event the regular season is officially ready to begin.