One of the things that basketball programs like to do near the start of the season is to blast out the new version of their uniforms on social media.
It gets fans excited about the upcoming season, it gets players excited to throw those jerseys on, it might result in some extra sales of team apparel. All that good stuff.
Typically, these pictures are with the uniforms modeled on a player or a mannequin. Not if you’re Ohio State, and not if you’re Thad Matta:
Here’s how the picture came to be, courtesy of ESPN:
According to Buckeyes video coordinator Kyle Davis, who took the Twitter photo, the staff was looking for a way to to show off the team’s new uniforms on social media before media day kicked off in earnest. He and OSU director of basketball operations David Egelhoff were laying the uniform out on various surfaces — tables, floors and so on — when Matta, en route to his daily workout, walked by.
“He asks us, ‘What are you guys doing?’ and we tell him we’re trying to show the new uniforms but we don’t really know what to do with this — we don’t have a mannequin,” Davis said. “And he says, ‘Why do you need a mannequin? I’m right here.'”
“We thought there was no way he was actually going to do this,” Davis said. “But Coach said ‘give me two minutes,’ and sure enough he came out wearing the uniform. He wanted everyone to know he still had it.”