The moon-shaped float members of the WNBA champion Indiana Fever were to board 90 minutes earlier found itself parked near the west entrance of Bankers Life Fieldhouse early Tuesday afternoon.
The team’s three eldest players, Tamika Catchings, Katie Douglas and Tammy Sutton-Brown, made their way to its highest point, Douglas moving more deliberately than the others due to a sprained left ankle that kept her out of the finals. Teammates and coaches joined them.
Spectators crowded in front of the float and jostled for position along Pennsylvania Avenue, many holding cellphone cameras aloft in an effort to forever freeze this wonderful moment in time.
With Douglas, 33, the Fever’s lone Indianapolis native, holding the championship trophy, players exchanged friendly dialogue with fans assembled below. A male voice from the throng yelled, “Congratulations, Fever,” which drew an immediate and heartfelt “Thank-you” from a beaming Sutton-Brown.
What was scheduled to be a victory parade from Monument Circle to the fieldhouse never materialized because of late-morning showers. Instead, the Fever moved the party indoors with about 3,000 fans becoming one ear-splitting mass inside the building’s pavilion.