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Zoom, Baby!: Tyrese Haliburton rides in 500 Festival Parade
The Pacers guard will be driving the Indy 500 pace car on Sunday but first, he rode in the annual 500 Festival parade in downtown Indy.
Tyrese Haliburton always has to have the right outfit. Sometimes, it’s weeks in the making and other times, it just works out.
As the Pacers’ star went through his extensive collection of vintage t-shirts, he had just the one. It was from May 2000, back when the team was about to reach the NBA Finals.
And Haliburton was just three months old.
The t-shirt — he already had it in his possession thanks to a hookup after a find on Instagram — is from the 2000 playoffs and says “Zoom, Baby!”
On one side with the Pacers logo, it says “Greatest Team in Basketball.”
On the other side with the Indianapolis 500 logo (and Boomer between them), it says “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
And across the bottom it says, “Greatest Fans in The World.”
“Indianapolis, May, 2000”
Yeah, I’d say Haliburton nailed it. He paired it with navy team shorts and white Nike Air Forces 1 shoes.
This day was bigger than his outfit. He had the honor of riding in the 500 Festival Parade, an event held annually in downtown Indianapolis in front of an estimated 200,000 people.
This comes one day before the Indianapolis 500, which is expecting a crowd of 325,000.
And just as the parade route was about to begin, while seated in the back of a Chevrolet Camaro, Haliburton was informed by the team’s director of executive protection that this was one of the largest parades in the country.
“This place, Indiana, is really cool the more you learn,” Haliburton replied.
The midwest kid from Oshkosh likes calling Indy home. By actively participating in the community, attending the Indy 500 and riding in the parade, he is loving Indy back. And that’s just what they’ve needed, especially Pacers fans.
Haliburton’s day began at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where thousands of fans gathered to walk around the track, get autographs from Indy 500 drivers and attend the public drivers meeting. While there, Haliburton hosted kids from Young Men of Purpose — a mentoring program in Indy — for a special experience.
Then, like the drivers, he then rode over to the Central Library for the start of the parade, which has been held since 1957.
Then in 2023, after having an All-Star year in his first full season with the Pacers, Haliburton isn’t just riding in it … he’s featured.
As the face of the Pacers, Haliburton hopes this isn’t the only parade he ever rides in, that this provided him with just a taste. He’s just 23 years old and aspires to play in the NBA for a long time — for as long as he’s productive and just before the wheels fall off.
He’s a hooper and would love nothing more than hold the Larry O’Brien Trophy — which is currently in town for the race — after winning a championship, and then ride in a championship parade on these very streets in downtown Indy.
So perhaps today was just the beginning.