Fever Fulfills A Wish For Special Girl

By Ericka Sanders | July 5, 2008
Carolyn Keating didn’t only to get play honorary coach at the Indiana Fever vs. Connecticut Sun game, Saturday night. She might have had a hand in an important play that changed the tempo of the game.

Suffering from a brain tumor, Keating, 13, served as the Fever’s special guest during a practice the day before, and got to call a few plays.

“I expected just to watch,” she said.

However, when Fever Head Coach Lin Dunn noticed that Keating had brought her whistle to practice she decided to let her get some use out of it.

“I brought her out to the huddle and let her talk to the players,” she said. “I called her over a couple times and tried to get her involved. She blew her whistle one time and we all just jumped around.”

So did they run the play right?

“Yeah, they made the shot,” said Keating with a smile.

A Wish child with the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund, a non-profit organization that grants wishes for children ages 3-18 who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses, Keating’s wish was granted when she and a few family members visited Disney World in October 2006. Of course, she had a blast.

“The best part was jumping lines,” said Keating, a student at New Augusta North School in Pike Township. “It was a lot of fun. I rode all the rides and took a lot of pictures.”

Although Keating is the first to visit the team in conjunction with Wish Fund, she likely won’t be the last. Dunn says granting wishes of children – and adults – is a special way to give back to the community and commends the team’s community relations department for making it happen.

"Carolyn is a sweetheart and we wish her the best,” she said. “We’re really pleased that we could be a part of the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund program. I think it’s a great program. If her wish is to be a part of the Fever for one night I’m sure glad we got to accommodate her.”

Keating, who says she loves basketball and is happy the Fever is in her hometown, enjoyed being a special member of the team because she got to see what happens beyond being a fan. She even knows a few things about the sport and was planning to play in a basketball league prior to her diagnosis. After sitting courtside during the game, Keating joined the team in the locker room and received Fever gifts and an autographed basketball.

“I really liked seeing what was going on because when you’re up in the stands you don’t know what the players are saying. And you don’t know if a certain play was the right play,” she said.

While the last couple of days were special to Keating it was special to the Fever as well.

“I really love this idea,” said Dunn. “It’s a great way to put a smile on a young girl's face. You could see the smile in her eyes and on her face. I think the players really enjoyed it and it’s positive for them.”