Defying expectations

People always tell you what not to do. Find out what you can do at IUPUI.

Behind the arc, under the lights

Description of the following video:

[Video: Basketball action at The Jungle]

[Announcer speaks: Don't wake the neighbors.]

[Words appear: IUPUI Presents]

[Austin Parkinson speaks: Actually, it was funny because what people don't know, I was actually in a sling. I had shoulder surgery a week before that. And so, I would take off my sling, just for that one scene, where I would fist pump, and we'd try to emulate, as much as we could, a game.]

[Words appear: Austin Parkinson, Head coach, women's basketball.]

[Austin speaks: And they did a great job. It was really neat to work with IU Communications and fun to shoot that and see what all goes into shooting a commercial.]

[Video: Basketball action focused on point guard Sydney Hall]

[Sydney Hall speaks: I had my whole jersey on, my shoes, everything. My hair was done just like I do it in a basketball game.]

[Words appear: Sydney Hall, Junior, guard]

[Video: More basketball action]

[Austin speaks: Well, it's a real honor that they chose to not just highlight one of our sports from the athletic department, but to pick a women's sport and women's basketball.

And I think that's really exciting to show for the success that our young ladies have had the last several years. And it'll be neat for the university to be able to have a commercial like that on such a big stage because we have such a wonderful university. Both from an academic standpoint and an athletic standpoint, and to highlight that, I think, is really special.]

[Words appear: IUPUI Fulfilling the Promise, iupui.edu]

[End of transcript]

Nobody thought a 29-year-old head coach could turn around a three-win IUPUI women's basketball team, much less get the squad to league-championship games and a record 24-win Division I season.

Nobody thought it was possible except that 29-year-old -- now 35-year-old -- coach, Austin Parkinson, who is featured in the latest IUPUI commercial, which will be seen frequently throughout the Winter Olympics, through Feb. 25.

The 30-second spot was shot during the summer and debuted this fall. But it is expected to be in front of thousands more eyes than usual in February.

In the commercial, a fiery Coach Parkinson patrols the bench area. Cut to starting point guard Sydney Hall, a junior from Fishers, popping a three-pointer. Then it's back to Parkinson giving an enthusiastic fist pump.

"I actually had shoulder surgery the week before that, and I'd take off my sling when we were shooting," recalled Parkinson with a smile. "It was fun to see what all went into shooting a commercial."

A game atmosphere in The Jungle was created, even though it was months before the Lady Jags would start their season. Hall and a few other players were brought in along with dozens of IUPUI women's basketball fans cheering while decked out in red and holding "Go Jags" signs. Hall and her teammates were suited up like it was the Horizon League championship game.

"I put real shots up, and the crowd went crazy -- miss or make," Hall said. "It was actually my favorite spot to shoot, from the wing."

Parkinson's shoulder is now healed, and he sees the commercial adding to the health of his program, IUPUI Athletics and the university overall.

"It'll be neat for the university to have a commercial like that on such a big stage," Parkinson said. "We have such a wonderful university, both from an academic standpoint and an athletic standpoint. To highlight that is really special."