Senior will be on the floor for Pacers-Cavs game

Ball is one of 24 Pacers ball boys


Photo submitted / used by permission

Jacob Ball waits court side during a regular season game. He will be on the floor on April 20 when the Pacers host the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoff.

Sara Kress, Culture Co-Editor

When LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers come to Indianapolis on April 20, senior Jacob Ball will have one of the best seats in the house. The varsity basketball player works as a ball boy for the Indiana Pacers.

Ball said that he enjoys his job. “It’s really cool. Basically I get paid to go sit court side at Pacer games. And I’m in the locker room talking to the players and they’ll know me by name. I’ll see them in public and they’ll be like ‘hey, Jacob what’s up,’ so it’s pretty cool,” he said.

The job is not all leisure, however.

Ball said, “Basically I take care of the locker room and any wishes the players have. If they want me to go get them food before the game, I go get them food. I rebound for them. And a lot of times we’ll be in the locker room after they leave and we’ll clean up the locker room and everything. But during the game, usually we’re on the court, watching the game. If anyone falls, one of the ball boys will go mop it up. Usually I am sitting next to the bench and handing out towels and getting (the players) whatever they want basically.”

Ball is one of 24 ball boys employed by the Pacers. Ten work each game.

Ball has worked with the Pacers since he was in eighth grade. He secured the job because of his father. “My dad is the head of security at the building, so he knew my boss now,” Ball said.

The time Ball has spent with the team has allowed him to make connections. “Some of the players last year I knew pretty well, but this year it’s a really new team so I don’t really know them as well,” he said midway through the regular season.¬†

Ball splits his time evenly between the Pacers’ locker room and the locker room of the visiting team, which has led to some interactions with other NBA players. Ball said, “(Boston Celtics player) Kyrie Irving called me over to him and said, ‘hey, who’s your favorite rookie’ when one of the best rookies, Jayson Tatum, was right next to him. I told him De’Aaron Fox, not Jayson Tatum, and he just started questioning me. He got mad that I didn’t say Jayson Tatum. He was like messing with me, but then he also started yelling at me.”

Those visitors on April 20 will include LeBron James his fellow Cleveland Cavaliers. Here’s to hoping that they leave as angry and disappointed as Irving.