There have been many memorable moments to this point of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. A first weekend full of upsets, wild finishes, and viral dunks have been a few of the biggest moments of the first weekend of action. However, the moment that went the most viral wasn’t actually from a basketball player.
Indiana cheerleader Cassidy Cerny was the talk of Thursday’s matchup between No. 5 seeded Saint Mary’s Gaels and No. 12 seeded Indiana Hoosiers when she was hoisted by fellow cheerleader Nathan Paris to retrieve the ball that was stuck behind the backboard.
Incredible scene in Portland, as an Indiana cheerleader saves the day by freeing a stuck ball. Amazing call by Andrew Catalon. pic.twitter.com/P53569THj2
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 18, 2022
While the game was rather uneventful, resulting in a Saint Mary’s blowout victory over Indiana, at least one Indiana student has benefitted from the moment.
Darren Rovell of The Action Network reported Monday that Cassidy Cerny has struck a NIL (name, image, likeness) deal with Breaking T, a sports apparel company.
Indiana cheerleader Cassidy Cerny, who famously plucked the ball out during the game, has struck an name, image and likeness deal with @BreakingT.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 21, 2022
Part of the deal will be selling shirts with an image of her plucking the ball from the backboard with the caption ‘The Cheerleader Saves the Day,’ which is a reference to the commentary call from CBS’s Andrew Catalon.
While Indiana certainly did not get the result they were looking for on Thursday night, Cerny rightfully earned some recognition for cheerleaders, who are often in the shadows of sporting events, from her viral NCAA Tournament moment.