Photo by Olivia Gear. Senior guard Dewon McKenzie goes for a layup at the basketball team’s recent game against St. Thomas. Over break, the team made a video of trick shots, including cool layups and dunks, that has gotten 14,011 views on YouTube so far.

This holiday season, ESPN aired a trick video produced by six members of Concordia’s men’s basketball team. What started out as after-practice entertainment has turned into a YouTube sensation. Their video “Merry Christmas Concordia College” now has 14,011 views on YouTube… and counting.

After practice, the members of the basketball team usually just go back to the locker rooms, clean up and go on with their day. However, one day this winter break the men decided to have a little fun.

“We were shooting some trick shots and started filming.” sophomore guard Ryan Rude said. The video was born.

Rude recruited six teammates, three friends and the team’s assistant coach, Freddy Coleman, to help him create the perfect video. Each participant, including Rude, performed a special trick.

“I had a dunk, an underhand one, and I did about four [other tricks],” Rude said.

Brandon Giese and Brandon Fisher, also players on the basketball team, added their own tricks to the mix.

“I did a kick from half court and threw it over my head and it went [into the basket].” Giese said.

“I did one under my legs, and I threw one off the balcony,” Fisher added.

Mastering the tricks viewers see in the video took a lot of practice, effort and redos, the men said. The players said that when they weren’t successful right away they would keep trying.

“It was different for each shot. They could range from making it on the first shot attempt to like fifty depending on how hard it was,” Rude said.

Accuracy was one of the goals for Fisher, and although it took him a bit, it paid off in the end.

“One from the balcony took me twenty minutes, and the one under my legs took four tries,” Fisher said.

After two days of filming the video and editing it, it was officially finished. Wanting their fellow Cobbers to see their work, the men decided to put it online. Giese said the men resorted to the three places they knew it would get noticed: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The real magic happened when Coleman sent the video to Fargo’s WDAY 6 News. After the video aired on WDAY 6, ESPN got a hold of it. Rude received an email from ESPN about the possibility of them airing it.

“I was watching ESPN, and I got an email from ESPN so I had a feeling it would be on,” Rude said. “I was shocked.”

Wanting to celebrate with his teammates, Rude sent out a mass email explaining what ESPN had told him. Even before receiving the email, Fisher had already celebrated.

“I had heard it was on TV, and then I saw myself,” Fisher said. “It was surprising.”

The basketball team never expected their video to have as much success as it has received. Team members are still not sure what caused the video to be so popular. Giese thinks one possible reason may have been that the video was something new and exciting.

“It was unique,” Giese said. “I haven’t seen other teams do a Christmas video.”

Viewers shouldn’t worry about the basketball team leaving the spotlight anytime soon, as Rude hinted there are more videos to come.

“Expect two more,” Rude said.

You can watch the video here.

Allie Smeeth

Hello! My name is Allie Smeeth, I am currently a junior at Concordia. I am majoring in Multimedia Journalism and minoring in Communications. Throughout my time at Concordia I've been involved in Habitat For Humanity, the Concordian and am currently involved in the up and coming Family Weekend Committee. Other than doing school work, I enjoy reading, watching tv, and hanging out with my lovely fellow cobbers. I grew up in Germany and have lived in South Carolina, Nebraska and Minnesota for the past three years. After college I plan on going to grad school for communications and plan on working at a non-profit in the cities after I've completed graduate school.

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