Frank Vogel, Paul George ride in 500 Festival Parade

Frank Vogel and Paul George aren’t used to having free time until June. Any of the Pacers, really.

George and his neighbor George Hill had not missed out on postseason play until this year.

With the additional time away, and hopefully for the last time they stressed, the head coach and face of the Pacers took part in the 2015 IPL 500 Festival Parade Saturday afternoon, a tradition the day before the Indianapolis 500. Along with Boomer, the team mascot, the three of them sat in the back of a vintage convertible and waved to the crowd in downtown Indianapolis.

“Just looking forward to be in front of all these great fans, … in particular are hometown fans here,” Vogel said prior to the parade. It would have been a perfect event for his two daughters, Alexa and Arianna, to tag along with him to but they had soccer games Saturday. And on Sunday, too, so coach will not make attend the race.

[Luis Scola visits IMS for Fast Friday, looks forward to his first Indy 500]

Paul George will have a role in Sunday’s race. He’s scheduled to fly into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an IU Health helicopter with a patient at Riley Hospital for Children and deliver the green flag. Admittedly, he’s a little nervous because it’ll be his first time riding in a helicopter.

“I’ll be a little nervous, just by it being my first time doing something different,” George said. “But I’m looking forward to it. Scratch it off my bucket list.

“I always wanted to go to the Indy 500 just because it’s something I’ve never done and how big of an event it is. Although I wish I could miss this one again due to the playoffs, it’s good that I can catch it this year.”

With each year, George, the Pacers’ 2010 first round pick, has gotten more and more involved in the Indy community. Taking over for Roy Hibbert, he’ll co-host the annual Caroline Symmes Celebrity Softball Challenge with Robert Mathis from the Colts in June. The fans have always shown him great support, especially since his leg injury last August.

“This is my city,” George said when I asked him about his increased involvement. “A city that I came to love and it’s vice-versa. This city has shown me the most love. I don’t think I do enough to be honest.”

Health wise, George said he is doing “good.” He’s not yet 100 percent recovered from the calf strain he suffered in their regular season finale in Memphis.

“Not yet,” he added. “I’m working towards it though.”

(On a side note, Pacers PR Director David Benner had a GoPro. Hopefully he captured some great video from the parade.)

Interview with Frank Vogel:

Interview with Paul George:

Photo Gallery:

My guy til the wheels crack!!!

A photo posted by Paul George (@ygtrece) on

The love was insane! Looking forward to bringing a parade to you in June Indy! #Motivated #Indy500

A video posted by Paul George (@ygtrece) on

5 Responses to Frank Vogel, Paul George ride in 500 Festival Parade
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