For the third time, all of IN and KY Young Life met in Indianapolis for the Pacers game and YL Club on the court. 2,000 friends fill up a huge chunk of the nose bleed seats, eat hot dogs and chips and cheer on Paul George and his friends.
The HSE crew showed up in full force-- we love these people.
One of the best parts of the night is seeing friends from YL all over the region. I love leaders Allie and Bailey from Carmel, Matt Williams from Bloomington, Mylene from Carmel and Carolyn from Lafayette.
Oh, and snacks, snacks are one of the best parts of all sports.
We moved down court side for club after the Pacers beat the Nuggets in overtime. As they usually do, the HSE fam had excitement and enthusiasm to share.
Club in the Banker's Life Fieldhouse is crazy-- balloons falling from the balcony, Q and A with a player from the Pacers and Pacer hype men on program.
We belted out What Do You Mean, Sorry, Livin' On A Prayer and Fresh Prince like we were trying to win a Grammy.
Then they called down a YL kid from all 25 YL areas to compete in an epic battle to win a pair of Paul George's size 16, autographed shoes. Julia got called up to represent HSE. She looks plenty terrified and excited doesn't she?
Round 1: Two games of musical chairs.
Julia slid into the chairs and shoved off any other players like a beast.
Round 2: Dizzy Bat Lay Up
Julia told me, "I could hear the counter beside me on 11 when I was on 13 and I just kept thinking GO FASTER!" She spun 15 times, wiped out twice and made the layup in time to move on to the next phase.
Round 3: Basketball Mania
Each of the final 4 YL kids got a turn shooting a layup for one point, a free throw for two and a three pointer for three points.
Julia stood on the sidelines shaking her head saying, "I can't do that! I can't make a layup!" When she stepped up she missed the layup, missed the free throw and then swished the three pointer. The HSE crowd erupted in screams. She just tied one of the guys who had made his first two shots.
Jack, Julia's brother was already in tears. She now had a 50/50 chance of winning Paul George shoes.
Overtime: Three Pointer
Julia and the boy each had one more chance to make a three pointer. The person who made the shot (or got the closest) would win. He hit off the backboard and missed. Then Julia shot AND MADE HER SECOND THREE POINTER!
People stormed the court...
Julia was lifted in the air...
Someone put the net from tonight's game on her like a necklace...
It was a Cinderella story, a Hoosier's moment, and in Julia's words, "Greater than in any moment I ever had in volleyball."
She got Paul George's shoes and didn't let them out of her hands for the rest of the night. So. Freaking. Amazing.