Gina Marie Incandela, all of 7 years of age is the magic behind the Magic.
When this young lady starts singing the National Anthem, good things happen for the Orlando Magic; they are 4-0 in the playoffs when she sings.
“They win when she sings,” her mother, Michelle, said Friday night. “It’s a wonderful coincidence.”
Maybe it is just by chance, but Gina — who suffers from a form of autism — has perhaps become Orlando’s lucky charm and is one of the Magic’s biggest inspirations.
She didn’t have a normal infancy.
Gina had poor eye contact. She would not play with toys. Bright lights and loud noises used to frighten her. Places like theme parks and carnivals, let alone an arena with 20,000 screaming fans, were intolerable. Before long, she was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder — Not Otherwise Specified, Autism, or PDD-NOS.
Her parents, Michelle and Dwayne, feared she would never be able to speak.
So they enrolled her in a program at the University of Central Florida. Teachers used music to help her speech, and slowly Gina started humming songs around the house. She eventually picked up on one of her favorite artists, LeAnn Rimes, and began belting her own version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” with unbelievable bravado.
“Music executives have told me her voice is one in a million,” her mother said.
Gina has become the ultimate crowd pleaser at Magic home games.
She barely comes up to the knees of most players. But the first-grader’s booming voice makes for can’t-miss moments.
“It just makes people happy, and it makes my own heart feel good just like everybody,” Gina said. “The fans really like it and love it in their own hearts.”
No one knows how her story will end because there is no cure for her condition. Gina’s parents can only help her manage the symptoms. Michelle said Gina still has delays when speaking and may have a tougher time adapting to social situations as she gets older.
For now, her voice has given them reason to feel good about the future.
“We’re so thankful for everything,” her mother said. “It’s like watching a dream.” [via]