Yes, that’s Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon, draped in boa constrictors, in one of the most ridiculously awesome promotional videos we’ve ever seen a Sports Information Department release.
Maymon was a bull of a forward for the Vols during the 2011-2012 season, putting himself on the map with a 32-point, 20-rebound performance against Memphis in Maui, but missed all of the 2012-2013 season with knees that just wouldn’t stay healthy.
Maymon’s worked his way back, however, and should be a vital part of a Tennessee team that will crack some preseason top 25 lists this year. He’s also a perfect fit for Cuonzo Martin’s grind-it-out, blue-collar style, and that’s what makes this video so perfect.
The first half of the video shows clips of Maymon working through his rehab with a revised version of Johnny Cash’s spoken word performance of “Mean as Hell” is played in the background. The second half? Highlights of a pre-injury Maymon as well as clips of the big fella in the bowels of Thompson-Boling Arena with Kanye’s “Black Skinhead” drum-heavy beat pounding.
It’s just awesome.
The best part, however, was tracked down by UT beat-writer Brendan Quinn, who got the entire story of how the video came to be:
Next came the issue of how to secure a giant snake. Satkowiak wanted to include a live serpent in the video to conceptualize Maymon’s injury and struggle. […]
Of the two boas – one named SoCo, the other named Lime (COLLEGE!) – SoCo was selected because of an edge in length. Maymon, ever-imposing at 6-foot-8, 260 pounds, was not keen about a boa slithering along his shoulders (pssh, it’s non-poisonous). He was scared, as any normal person would be. Satkowiak, playing the role of Paul Serone, was in charge of keeping the snake away from Maymon’s face.
Everyone survived the film shoot.
The video ends with the words “He Is Back”, and after watching that, I’m sure glad that he is.