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Before Roy Hibbert announces the details behind Season 3 of Area 55, he wanted to make sure to have one final celebration with the members of Season 2. It would be the last opportunity for the group to get together before the audition process begins later this summer. Like the Pacemates (Vote for 2012-13 Pacemates hopefuls »), anyone looking to be a member of Area 55 must audition regardless of past standing. Though it may sound ridiculous, auditioning can be a stressful and intimidating process as the videos are posted publicly on Pacers.com. The weekend celebration lets the group enjoy the benefits of being a member one last time.
The idea for the celebration started a month ago when Roy and Season 2 member Jon Bennett scheduled an MMA-style workout. This past Saturday, Jon, who recently retired from a long and successful indie professional wrestling career, and Shelley Prickel, a 2-year member, joined Roy at a local gym that has seen a variety of UFC stars, including Chris "Lights Out" Lytle and Matt Mitrione, among others.
"It was brutal!” said Jon after the workout.
He wasn’t alone. Shelley felt the same.
"I've never worked that hard (in my life)," she said.
The next day, the winning members of Area 55 went to Carmel for a few rounds of laser tag and that's when the idea came: They should have an Area 55 Season 2 End of Year party of laser tag and video games.
(Quick overview on laser tag: It's a team sport where players score points by hitting targets with a hand-held infrared-emitting shooter. Each player wears an infrared-sensitive target. You score points when you hit (or "tag") the targets of the other team. If you've never played, it's worth the price of admission—especially if Roy is covering the tab like he did for the Area 55 crew.)
After everyone arrived, the group was randomly separated into two teams. The teams then played two rounds of three games per round, with Roy’s team winning with a final record of 5-1. As expected, Roy was efficient on the offensive end and dominate on the defensive end.
"That’s what he does! He protects the basket." Said Mike Huser, a member since Season 1.
Mike, like the rest of the group, went home happy (and sweaty). He and his brother, Brian, are excited about next year.