A 19-year-old teen named Marlana VanHoose wowed the audience as she performed the national anthem during NBA Finals on Tuesday.
The Cleveland Cavaliers decided to invite VanHoose to sing the national anthem for Game 6 of NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. High profile artists like Rascal Flatts, Usher and Carlos Santana have all performed the anthem at Cleveland but the Kentucky native arguably had the best rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” this year.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) June 18, 2015
VanHoose was born with the cytomeglo virus and her optic nerve has never formed — she has been blind her whole life. According to her website, doctors didn’t expect her to live for more than a year.
VanHoose has sung at games for the Cavaliers before and performed at several University of Kentucky women’s basketball games. She has also shared her talent for singing at a number of other sports events including the NASCAR Sprint Series Cup Race.
The Cavaliers believed that VanHoose would bring them luck for their game against the Warriors in Game 6.
In 2012, the Lady Wildcats were undefeated in games before which VanHoose sang the national anthem. That was the time when she became an internet sensation. Her popularity grew so much that ESPN’s “E:60” even did a profile on her in December of last year.
The Cavaliers have also witnessed similar luck when they won their matchup in April against the Miami Heat after VanHoose performed the national anthem.
VanHoose’s rendition of America’s national anthem caused a buzz on social media platforms like Twitter.
One tweet from Matt Jarrells wrote, “If you missed that National Anthem, then you missed out on goosebumps on top of goosebumps.”
— Matt Jarrells (@jmattjarrells) June 17, 2015
“Marlana VanHoose performed a magnificent National Anthem,” said The Cauldron.
Jeff Van Gundy also commented on VanHoose’s performance tweeting,”Courage personified there.”