It only took half a season, but Big Thunder has already set his expectations high.
When the season started, Big Thunder was just looking to get more school spirit into basketball games. Now, he’s landed SUU Men’s Basketball on the lead of ESPN’s most viewed recap show. On Scott Van Pelt’s ‘Best Thing I Saw Today’ segment, Big Thunder was the first story.
That’s right. Even with the NBA Trade Deadline over just hours before, Big Thunder hit lead off for Sportscenter. The show had a TV rating of 2.1, which rounds out to be about three million viewers.
Big Thunder himself is as shocked as anyone.
“A year ago if I would have told any of you that I would be a regular on KSL and be on Sportscenter, would you have believed me?” Big Thunder said. “[If] you think you’re shook, I nearly had a heart attack [when ESPN talked about me]”
Big Thunder has taken Twitter by storm:
@RealBigThunder we better see you in Boise for the #BigSkyMBB and #BigSkyWBB championships. https://t.co/JdRhgYVKtg
— Jon Kasper (@jon_kasper) February 8, 2019
Thanks @RealBigThunder. This @KSL5TV shirt is coming your way. Go @SUUThunderbirds ! pic.twitter.com/86rYFiHjMb
— Deanie Wimmer (@DeanieWimmer) February 8, 2019
This is phenomenal ⚡️ https://t.co/pZikV1EQBk
— Bryson V. Lester (@brysonvern) February 8, 2019
SUU is now on the big stage thanks to @RealBigThunder
— Jon Wardenburg (@JpWardenburg) February 8, 2019
Even the KSL team has gotten in on the fun of Big Thunder.
Much love to the entire @kslsports crew! Thanks for featuring the @SUUBasketball annihilation of @WeberStateMBB. What a time to be a part of #TBirdNation! @DeanieWimmer @KSLcom @pgsportsgeek @HaydenCoombs @zakhicken @HemaHeimuliJr @ActuallyDSW @Spencer_Linton @mikehedricktv pic.twitter.com/aMGqOazEwb
— Big Thunder SUU (@RealBigThunder) February 8, 2019
Athletes from around the athletic department are just as excited about Big Thunder’s growing popularity as he is.
“It’s always huge,” sophomore guard Dre Marin said with a laugh after the team completed their sweep of Weber State. “That dude is making a name for himself. He’s helping us grow as a program just as much as we are. As long as the other team keeps missing free throws, I don’t care what he does”
As Big Thunder continues to grow in fame, the school will also continue to grow. The free publicity from ESPN, KSL and other news outlets should prove to be priceless.
To catch more Big Thunder, visit all SUU Basketball home games, and visit his GoFundMe page to help send him to Boise for the Big Sky Conference Tournament in March.
Story by: Kurt Meacham
Photo courtesy of SUU Athletics Strategic Communication