Katie Douglas has known the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” for some time.
Only it’s not the lyrics to Francis Scott Key’s masterwork of nearly 200 years ago the Indiana Fever guard/forward is speaking while the song is being played before the team’s games.
This is Douglas’ time alone with her parents, Ken and Karen, who passed away in 1997 and 2000, respectively, her mother succumbing to breast cancer. Regardless of where the former Perry Meridian standout is playing, the pregame dialogue is meaningful, powerful.
And sadly one-sided.
“Before every game I pray and talk to both of them and thank them for watching over me,” said Douglas, who was only 19 when the woman she called “my best friend” was diagnosed and was a 20-year-old Purdue junior when she died.
“We would talk on the phone ... I don’t know how many times a day,” Douglas said. “Just the daily interaction. I probably got a lot of my morals from my mom. People tell me to this day that she was the sweetest person.”