Pacers FanJam at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Players, Fans Have a Blast at FanJam
by Scott Agness
What had a Pacers player singing Justin Bieber and a dance routine that included a unicycle? The annual Pacers FanJam, that's what.
The Indiana University Health Entry Pavilion was filled with thousands of fans when the gates opened at 4 p.m. During the first hour, fans roamed the concourses for face-painting, pictures with the Indiana Fever’s 2012 WNBA Championship trophy, and got autographs from the Pacemates and former Pacers players George McGinnis, Don Buse, Rik Smits, and Billy Keller.
During the second hour, the team was introduced on court and scrimmaged for 12 minutes (following practice that they just wrapped up). One great development came with point guard George Hill who, because of injuries, missed the entire preseason slate. Hill was joined on the court with the usual starters (minus Danny Granger, who rested his knee) and played the entire session. With Sam Young subbing for Granger, the starters-led team won 22-19.
Following the scrimmage, there were five contests held:
Three-point Shoot-out: Hill edged Gerald Green to meet Granger, who defeated Roy Hibbert, in the finals. Hill was sharp in the one-minute shooting contest, hitting 22-of-24 outside shots in one-minute for an easy win.
Half-court Shot Contest: Each Pacers player took a shot from a half-court and those that made the shot went on to the next round until only one player remained. However, this one wasn’t much of a contest as Lance Stephenson was the only Pacers player to hit the shot and won the content.
Dance Contest: Lance Stephenson (Dougie), Sam Young (Yeah!), Miles Plumlee (Cha Cha Slide), and Orlando Johnson (Thriller) competed in a dance-off and it was the rookies that received the loudest applause for their performance. Plumlee even broke out an old unicycle that he had with him from grade-school and it ultimately pushed him past Johnson’s crowd-pleasing Michael Jackson rendition.
Rookie Karaoke: You can’t have a FanJam without having the rookies embarrass themselves in front of the crowd. Plumlee struggled his way through "Call Me Maybe." Orlando Johnson had a good time performing “Somebody That I Used To Know,” despite not knowing half the words. And best of all, Granger brought out a little girl for newcomer Ben Hansbrough to serenade with "Boyfriend" by Justin Bieber.
Dunk Contest: Last, but not least, was the much-anticipated dunk contest. Miles Plumlee and Lance Stephenson both threw down impressive dunks and Paul George riled the crowd with a 360-degree, between-the-legs-dunk. Gerald Green, the favorite, held up his end of the bargain and topped off what was another great FanJam at the Fieldhouse with a high-arcing bounce-pass-to-himself windmill dunk.
The Pacers will have two more practices before crossing the border to Canada, where they’ll open the season against the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night.
The first home game is Saturday, November 3rd against the Sacramento Kings. Tickets for Opening Night are on sale now.