Basketball coach dresses up as school mascot as he proposes to his girlfriend during halftime of college game
20:58 GMT, 15 October 2012
Making it a marriage proposal to remember, a basketball coach decided to pop the question to his girlfriend during a halftime game, dressed as his team's mascot – a bright red panther.
Craig Heatherly, 24, an assistant trainer for the Davenport University Panthers in Caledonia, Michigan, performed the stunt during his school's annual Midnight Madness event last Friday.
Disguised as Pounce the cat, he appeared on the court and pretended to feign an injury, prompting his girlfriend Linaya Hass to help him, before he whipped off his headpiece and got down on one knee.
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Will you marry me Craig Heatherly, an assistant trainer for the Davenport University Panthers, decided to pop the question to his girlfriend in front of a live audience dressed as his school team's mascot
Miss Hass, 25, said that she had no idea that it was her boyfriend in the costume. She told MLIve 'It was dark except for the spotlight,
so I didn't even think in a million years it would be him out there.'
During Midnight Madness at Davenport University, a dance-off took place between Pounce, the Panthers’ mascot, and four other basketball players.
When the contest was ruled a tie, a
premeditated arrangement, Pounce was asked to perform a tiebreaker dance-off against
Miss Hass, who has been coaching the Davenport University dance team for the past year.
However, in a video captured by a friend of the couple's, the giant cat mascot is seen feigning an injury and falling to the ground.
Caught out: Dance coach Miss Hass says she had no idea about what what was going to happen, although family members were in on the secret
Proposal to remember: When Miss Hass rushed over to help the team mascot, Mr Heatherly took off his headpiece, dropped down on one knee and asked 'Linaya, may I ask: Will you marry me'
Miss Hass then rushes over to help before Mr Heatherly takes off the top of his costume, drops down on one knee and asks 'Linaya, may I ask: Will you marry me'
The dance coach says, although family members for were in on the secret, she had no inkling of what was going to happen.
'When he took off the head and I saw it
was him I thought, 'OK, alright, the joke's on me,' she explained.
when he took the microphone, and I saw the (ring) box, I thought, “Oh my
gosh, this is about to happen.”
Phew! Mr Heatherly's proposal plan worked and his girlfriend said 'yes'
Cause for celebration: The couple were mobbed by friends and family following the wedding proposal
In the spotlight: Miss Hass was asked to perform a dance routine during the Midnight Madness event
And thankfully Mr Heatherly's plan paid off as Miss Hass said 'yes'.
Explaining his inspiration, he said: 'It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and the idea just hit me one day while driving.'
'It really couldn’t have gone any better. It's everything I hoped it would be,' he added.
The event was captured on film by a
friend of the couple's, which has
since been posted to YouTube.
Mr Heatherly and Miss Hass, who have been dating just over a year, plan to get married next August.