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Two cheerleaders free trapped ball during March Madness game

Mar 19, 2022, 5:45 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:17 pm
Indiana cheerleader Cassidy Cerny is lifted up to retrieve a basketball that became stuck at the to...
Indiana cheerleader Cassidy Cerny is lifted up to retrieve a basketball that became stuck at the top of the backboard. (Craig Mitchelldyer/AP via CNN)
(Craig Mitchelldyer/AP via CNN)

(CNN) — The March Madness show-down between the University of Indiana and Saint Mary’s College on March 17 came to a halt after the ball became lodged between the backboard and shot clock.

But two creative cheerleaders from Indiana sprang into action to rescue the ball after several failed attempts to reach it using a mop handle. Cassidy Cerny stood atop Nathan Paris’ hands and quickly removed the ball.

The official NCAA March Madness Twitter account applauded the cheerleaders’ play, writing, “The cheerleader saves the day.”

Video shows the exuberant crowd cheering as Cerny dislodges the ball and Paris carefully lowers her to the ground. A video of the maneuver has already reached over 700,000 views on YouTube.

During an interview after the game with March Madness host Andy Katz, Cerny said that she felt “very comfortable” in the air because of her experience regularly performing similar stunts in cheerleading routines.

“Every single day, we stunt together,” she said, adding that she trusts Paris “with my life.”

Unfortunately, the cheerleaders’ move wasn’t enough to bring the Hoosiers the win. Saint Mary’s won the match 82-53 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.


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Two cheerleaders free trapped ball during March Madness game