Two quick-thinking Indiana University cheerleaders came to the rescue when a March Madness basketball got stuck in a hard-to-reach place!
The Hoosiers were facing off against the Saint Mary’s Gaels in the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Thursday when their game ball landed on top of the backboard – and stayed there.
At first, a referee stood on a chair and tried to nudge the ball down with the handle of a mop, but to no avail.
That was when cheerleaders Nathan Paris and Cassidy Cerny swooped in.
“They kept trying different ways and nothing really was working,” Nathan told “TODAY” on Friday. “And so all of us kind of looked at each other and our captain, Ethan, [said], ‘We need the tallest guy to lift somebody up to see if we can get to the top of the backboard.'”
Nathan lifted Cassidy high enough so that she could retrieve the ball, and when she got her hands on it, the crowd went wild!
“Wow, what a day! The cheerleader saves the day!” a play-by-play announcer exclaimed as she came down with the ball.
Video and photos of the heroic moment quickly went viral, and Cassidy told “TODAY” that the huge response has been “very overwhelming.”
“It’s been very cool and very interesting to see how many people have seen the video and are reaching out. It’s just been really cool,” she told the outlet.
While the squad members were able to save the day, the Hoosiers basketball team didn’t have the same luck, ultimately losing 82-53 to the Gaels. Saint Mary’s is set to face off against UCLA in the tournament’s second round on Saturday.