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Marked by tragedy: Family bonds over Indiana Pacers after loss of father

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Posted at 8:31 AM, May 25, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — As the Pacers get ready to take on the Boston Celtics in Game 3 Saturday night, a group of fans will be watching the game with a bigger purpose.

"It just makes me remember the times we would sit on the couch, that was his spot,” Kim Gray said.

Gray and her daughters were glued to the TV watching the Indiana Pacers play the Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The last half of the season and the Pacers' run through the playoffs have been filled with memories that this family will take with them for a lifetime.

Gray's husband, Tim, passed away tragically on Jan. 3, 2024.

"My friends and I had a workout planned in the front room, and I heard him making weird noises. I thought he was having a seizure. I gave him CPR for six minutes until the ambulance got here. They worked on him for about 45 minutes before they took him to St. Francis," she said. "I kinda knew when they took him that he wasn’t coming back. To have my kids see it was really hard."


Tim Gray was 41-years-old.

“They still don’t know what caused it. They think it was a heart attack,” Gray said.

Tim Gray was a teacher and basketball coach in Perry Township. The two bonded over their love of the game.

 “He coached girls basketball at Roncalli. He coached the Center Grove boys and at Southport for a couple of years,” Gray said.

They also bonded over the blue and gold.

“We actually just decided the year the Pacers were playing in Game 7 against Cleveland and Lebron that we would just up and go,” Gray said.


Gray and her daughters have now dedicated every game to him, never missing a playoff game. They are either surrounded by family or in Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

“The last couple of games they’ve gone to, they have been like, 'Remember when dad used to do this,'" Gray said.

Her strength is guided by her faith, family and the Indiana Pacers. She says she knows she and her daughters will always have each other.

 “The three of them have just gotten closer. The memories and things they remember about going to the games,” Gray said.