Indiana University cheerleader who went viral gets NIL deal

Morning In America

Basketball (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — The Indiana University cheerleader who went viral after rescuing a basketball that had gotten stuck behind a backboard — that even the players couldn’t reach — is now getting her own T-shirt.

Cassidy Cerny, who was lifted by Nathan Paris to retrieve the ball during a game pitting the Indiana Hoosiers against the St. Mary’s Gaels, landed a names, image and likeness deal with the sports apparel company Breaking T.

They’re releasing a T-shirt to commemorate the occasion, which features a nearly identical image of Cerny rescuing the ball with the phrase “The Cheerleader Saves the Day” on it, originally said by CBS Sports’ Andrew Catalon.

The viral moment happened during the second half of the game, which Indiana ultimately lost. A shot by one player got the ball stuck, momentarily pausing the competition.

Players tried to dislodge it by sticking the handle of a mop into the gap. It was only when Cerny went on Paris’ shoulder and dislodged the ball that the game could continue.

“As soon as [the ball got stuck], I was joking in my mind like, ‘Oh we should put a stunt up and we’ll just get it down right there,’” Paris told NewsNation local affiliate WXIN the morning after. “Obviously, you never think it would come to that. They have other things. Once I saw the chair didn’t work, and … the stick didn’t work, then I was like, ‘This might actually end up being a real thing.’”

Video of the stunt earned millions of views after it began circulating.

“Social media has been insane,” Cerny said on WXIN. “Hearing from people from our school and hometown friends, relatives and stuff. It’s been really cool to be able to have this experience shared with not only our team, but with everyone who’s watching.”

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