Video: Jessica Sanchez performs the National Anthem before the Thunder vs. Heat Game 1 of NBA Finals
True to form, Season 11 “American Idol” runner-up Jessica Sanchez delivered an absolutely beautiful rendition of the National Anthem Tuesday night prior to Game 1 of the NBA Finals series pitting the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Miami Heat.
The 16-year-old gave stellar performances of “The Star-Spangled Banner” earlier this spring at PBS’ Memorial Day Concert at the U.S. Capitol and before Saturday’s Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley boxing match at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but Tuesday night’s rendition was maybe even a bit stronger.
Before her performance at Chesapeake Energy Arena, the California teen tweeted (@JSanchezAI11) “im all about thunder tonight! ” Of course, the Thunder went on to beat the Heat 105-94.
The Oklahoman’s Thunder beat writer Darnell Mayberry tweeted (@DarnellMayberry) today that country music star Sara Evans will perform the anthem before Game 2, tipping off at 8 p.m. Thursday at Chesapeake Arena. The game will air on ABC (KOCO-5), and her anthem performance will be broadcast about 10 minutes before the game starts.
Like Sanchez, Evans has given strong anthem performances in the past, and she surely will offer another one Thursday night. Still, I’m hoping that an Oklahoma star will get the chance to sing the “Banner” before at least one of the NBA Finals games.
Last week, my excellent colleague Carla Hinton and I talked to some of the Oklahoma singers who have performed the anthem before Thunder games so far in this year’s magical post-season run. To read their thoughts, click here.
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