MILWAUKEE — It finally happened. After singing the National Anthem prior to the 76ers-Bucks NBA game Monday night, Miss America Laura Kaeppeler was surprised by a visit from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in her private suite.
It was during the January Miss America pageant that Kaeppeler jokingly told Rodgers to call her, drawing many headlines in both the sports and pop culture world. But until Monday, the two had never met.
That changed at halftime of the 76ers-Bucks game when Rodgers made his way up to the suite level at the Bradley Center.
Rodgers was sitting courtside for the game when Kaeppeler sang a jazzy rendition of the National Anthem with the accompaniment of the arena’s live band.
Earlier Monday, Rodgers tweeted: “Hanging in Milwaukee…big game at the Bradley center tonight…U don’t wanna miss the girl singing the anthem either.”
However, Kaeppeler had no idea that Rodgers was in the building, much less only a few feet away when she sang.
Kaeppeler — a 24-year-old from the southeastern Wisconsin city of Kenosha — didn’t name the Packers as her favorite team.
“I’m actually a Chicago Cubs fan,” she said. “I know, tough territory to say that. My grandpa inspected Cubs trading cards when I was a young girl, so he had Cubs memorabilia and tickets. So I have really fond memories of being a Cubs fan as a young girl.”
Monday was not Kaeppeler’s first National Anthem performance at a professional sporting event in Wisconsin. She previously sang at Miller Park for a Brewers game, as well as a Packers preseason game prior to becoming Miss America.
“It was so fun,” Kaeppeler said of singing Monday’s Anthem.