Boomer breaks through at dunk show

Boomer Shows Off, Sends Social Media Buzzing
By: Ashley Peek

While the Indiana Pacers were on a three-game West Coast schedule, their mascot was off putting on a show of his own.

On Friday night the Pacers mascot Boomer went to New Palestine high school to be their halftime entertainment, but no one thought they would be getting quite as spectacular of a show as they did.

“We were in the locker room for halftime,” New Palestine senior Joshua Penley said. “Our coach came in and said that Boomer shattered the backboard. None of us believed it was true until one of our teammates came back to confirm.”

But thanks to one member of the crowd, Steve Steele, the moment was captured and immediately put on and within a few hours the video had gone viral. Getting picked up and tossed around Twitter and Facebook by The Indianapolis Star and the Pacers, everyone saw what Boomer was only able to respond with an “Ooops.”

Kyleigh Smock, a senior girls basketball player at New Palestine was in the crowd that night.

“Everyone was just cheering waiting for him to dunk but when the glass shattered everyone cheered and went to the court,” Smock said. “Everyone was laughing and was in awe more than anything. “

“It was pretty cool to know that the video and my high school was being seen all across the country,” Penley said. “To see New Pal trending on twitter afterwards was awesome. Everyone started posting their own videos of it afterwards, too.”

And Penley was right. If you go to now and search “Pacers Boomer Breaks Backboard” many more options come up than just the original video by Steele, which now boast over 2.9 million views. Anything from slow motion, extended versions, to ones with added musical soundtrack.

Steve Maxwell, the New Palestine Swimming and Diving Coach, was shocked as he and his wife, Janet, watched the glass fall on top of Boomer.

“It all seemed so 'usual' until he caught the rim and then it just seemed like everything went slow,” he said. “When the glass blew, the crowd just seemed to pause a moment - no sounds, no gasps, nothing - then the gym just exploded.”

But Maxwell and his wife weren’t the only one’s in shock.

“I was watching our Athletic Director and Assistant Principal right after the glass blew and they were just staring - you could tell they couldn't believe what had happened,” he said.

Boomers twitter account also received a lot of love that evening as many people applauded him, some jokingly shunned and others made comical references such as Scott Kennedy’s (@STKennedy78) use of a “boom goes the dynamite” line.

“I was amazed at how fast videos were uploaded,” Maxwell said. “Kids were sharing versions on phones as they walked from the Main Gym to the Auxiliary Gym. I think it was the first time I really witnessed the immediacy of social media.”

In addition to the widespread popularity courtesy of Steele and his Youtube video, Boomer was also a part of Sports Center top ten plays.

“Seeing the replay on ESPN, the local news, some of the national networks was great,” Maxwell said. “Since the exposure was not for anything the school came under question for, it sort of brought back the saying, 'there's no such thing as bad publicity'. The only thing that I was disappointed about was several of the versions had the name of the school wrong.”

The game resumed in the auxiliary gym and no one was reported to have bee injured by the shattered glass, but Boomer did mention on his Twitter that he would be visiting Richmond High School the next day. “Add some extra support to those goals,” he said.

Check out the videos and photo’s from that night and be sure to follow Boomer on Twitter, @PacersBoomer.

By: Sarah Layne

Boomer, the Indiana Pacers mascot, demonstrated a memorable half-time performance Friday night at New Palestine High School’s basketball game against Triton Central High School.  The mascot made a glass-shattering slam dunk, causing the game to be delayed, and later moved to another gym. 

The crowd-pleasing incident quickly became a YouTube sensation, as the video of the dunk already has nearly three million hits in just two days.  Other social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, also went viral with the news.

“Boomer” was a trending topic on Twitter within minutes after the dunk, producing highly circulated tweets from The Indianapolis Star and the mascot’s account. 

After the game, Boomer tweeted, “Watch out Richmond High School… I’m headed your way.  Add some extra support to those goals! #ShaqBoomer.”

The unforgettable show lefts comments like, “Boomer, keep pumping that iron,” and “Boomer, the Darryl Dawkins of mascots,” circulating the social media networks.  Later, Boomer also tweeted a picture of the shattered backboard with the caption, “Oooops.”

Since the incident, Boomer updated his Twitter “bio” to read: “I love cheering on the Indiana Pacers, dunking w/ease (and occasionally breaking backboards), driving my go-cat-cart & making fans smile.”

Boomer undoubtedly succeeded at making fans smile, as one fan wrote on Facebook, “It looks like the only person in the video not laughing is Boomer.”

While the fans in attendance at the game enjoyed the excitement, it is safe to say that the schools playing host to future Boomer shows wish for their backboards to remain in one piece. 

Officials said no one was hurt, and the New Palestine Dragons went on to win the game 70-45.