By Spc. William E. Henry
Indiana National Guard
INDIANAPOLIS - The Pacers Sports and Entertainment provided the Indiana National Guard with about 5,000 Indiana Pacers and Fever shirts at Conseco Fieldhouse on Monday, Feb. 2.
Pacers rookie center, Roy Hibbert, joined in action and helped load some of the boxes onto a military vehicle with Soldiers.
After loading the boxes Hibbert invited the Soldiers to join him on the Pacers practice court to shoot some hoops.
On the way to the court Soldiers got an extra surprise when they ran into Pacers head coach, Jim O'Brien, and Eastern Conference All-Star, Danny Granger.
"I feel like you guys are serving and you guys are doing your duty over there so this is a small part. Anything I can do to help comfort the guys that are going over there I feel like I'm doing my part," said Hibbert.
"It was a real honor to be here today for the Pacers and Roy to take time to come out here. I could tell by his eyes and his tone of voice that he genuinely wanted to thank us for our service," said Indiana adjutant general, Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger. "He's a Pacer, and we're very proud of him, and we want to back him like he's backing us."
"They [the players] are very concerned about community, about their fellow citizens and they really enjoy being here in Indiana," said Greg Schenkel, vice president of corporate and public relations for Pacers Sports and Entertainment "We're the Indiana Pacers and its good that we can participate with all of you."
Schenkel went on to thank Indiana National Guard troops for their service and dedication, "We appreciate everything you have done up to this point and what you will continue to do. Anyway we can play a part to be supportive and be helpful we'll look forward to it."
The Indiana National Guard plans on handing out the shirts to deploying troops and those who return from deployments in the future.
"It's just a little taste of home and if they carry that with them it will let them know we're thinking about them," said Hibbert.