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IU cheerleader inks NIL deal with T-shirt company after viral March Madness moment

Cassidy Cerny went viral when she climbed on teammate Nathan Paris' shoulders and snagged a stuck basketball during IU's game last Friday.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — An IU Hoosier who provided one of the memorable moments of this year's March Madness is being immortalized on a T-shirt. 

While Indiana made an early exit from the tournament with an 82-53 loss to Saint Mary's last Friday, cheerleader Cassidy Cerny made an assist that quickly went viral. After the basketball got stuck behind the backboard during the second half of the game and was unable to be retrieved by players or referees with brooms, Cerny climbed onto teammate Nathan Paris' shoulders and pulled the ball free.

"What a play! The cheerleader saves the day!" shouted TBS announcer Andrew Catalon. "That is her 'One Shining Moment!'"

On Instagram after the game, Cerny posted, "don't worry guys I got it," with a picture of her save. 

The moment, which will live on in the memories of basketball fans, has now also been commemorated on a T-shirt. According to Sports Illustrated, Cerny reached a name, image and likeness (NIL) agreement with Breaking T, a company that designs and sells shirts and sports apparel. 

According to Breaking T's website, student-athletes who participate in their RAMP licensing program receive royalties each time the company sells a product featuring their name, image and likeness at rates comparable to professional athletes. 

Cerny told 13News she makes 15% from each shirt sold, which is about $4.50 per shirt. Five hundred shirts had sold as of Wednesday afternoon.

But she said none of this would have happened without her partner and there are plans to include Paris in future NIL deals.

"I wouldn't be able to have this opportunity without Nathan. We've definitely been working to get other things, either together or just on his own. Time will tell what those opportunities will be," Cerny said.

The shirts are available to order from Breaking T's website in sizes from youth small through XXXL for adults. 

While the IU men's basketball team made a quick exit from the NCAA Tournament, the women's team has reached the Sweet 16 and will face UConn Saturday in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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