Indiana Pacers take on Indiana Grand jockeys in basketball contest
Indiana Pacers Lance Stephenson and Joe Young will compete in a basketball shootout with jockeys Katie Clawson and DeShawn Parker at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino on Friday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m. The Kings of the Court shootout, which will take place at the family-friendly race course, is part of a special Indiana Derby eve celebration tagged as A Royal Feast Fest featuring live entertainment, music and various food options. A Royal Derby, held on Saturday, July 15, will feature the 23rd Running of the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby.
Stephenson, a current Indiana Pacer and former Big East Rookie of the Year from the University of Cincinnati, will join teammate and Houston, Texas native Joe Young to compete against Indiana Grand leading jockey Clawson and horse racing’s all-time leading African American jockey Parker.
Clawson, who hails from Brazil, Indiana, played multiple sports growing up. She has a little experience on the basketball court, competing one year at St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Terre Haute before her love of horses took over. The 20-year-old apprentice rider has been competing for a little more than a year and is currently the leading jockey at Indiana Grand with 50 wins in the first 48 racing programs.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the NBA players and having some friendly competition on the court,” said Clawson. “It should be a lot of fun for DeShawn and I.”
Parker, who is also in his first year riding at Indiana Grand, will join Clawson in the competition. Parker, a native of Cincinnati, grew up in a sports-infused family and has always been a University of Cincinnati fan, even possessing a “bearcat” tattoo on his arm. Standing at a unique height of 5’10 for a jockey, Parker has more than 5,200 career wins and is horse racing’s all-time leading African American jockey in wins. He is currently among the track’s top five jockeys at Indiana Grand.
“I’ve actually had a Bearcats tattoo on my shoulder since I was 17,” said Parker. “I’ve always followed sports from UC. In fact, that was where I was going to go to college if I hadn’t gone into riding full time. I’ve played ball in the past but it’s been a while. I need to get to Dave and Busters and start practicing. It will be fun to meet the Pacers, especially Lance Stephenson, since he went to UC.”
The Kings of the Court competition will take place at approximately 7:30 p.m. during A Royal Feast Fest. The event will feature royal fare for purchase and free, live entertainment throughout the evening at the race course. Live music will start at 4 p.m. outdoors and include performances by Nick Netherton, Jai Baker, Indiana Grand’s first-ever Grand Voice winner Derrick Williams, and The Devonshires, who will headline the event at 7:45 p.m.
In addition to The Royal Feast Fest on Friday, July 14, singer Alaina Renae will perform live at Center Bar in the casino from 8:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with a 30-minute meet-and-greet to follow. The Flying Toasters will perform at Center Bar at 9 p.m., and hip-hop recording artist and actor Ludacris will conduct a public meet-and-greet at 10 p.m. in the third floor mezzanine. All entertainment is free to the public.
Racing resumes for the biggest night of action in the state of Indiana on Saturday, July 15 with the focus on the Grade III $500,000 Indiana Derby and Honorary Chairperson Coach Bob Knight. The race will be complemented by five other stakes races on the card, including the Grade III $200,000 Indiana Oaks. First post for the Indiana Derby program is 6:05 p.m. with the Indiana Derby slated as race nine with an estimated post time of 9:46 p.m. EST.