banner
North Carolina

UNC's Blue Steel builds a brand

Posted March 25, 2011

— Six non-scholarship players for the University of North Carolina have made a name for themselves by having a sense of humor.

 D.J. Johnston, Stewart Cooper, Daniel Bolic, Van Hatchell, Dave Dupont and Patrick Crouch – collectively known as "Blue Steel" – are arguably the most famous walk-ons in college basketball this season.

"It's unreal," said Johnston.

Blue Steel earns a following from the end of the bench Blue Steel earns fans from the end of the bench

The nickname comes from an exaggerated pose by male model Derek Zoolander's in the Ben Stiller movie "Zoolander." Head coach Roy Williams used the name in practice and it stuck, Hatchell said.

The starters have nothing but praise for their end-of-the-bench teammates. "I love Blue Steel," said John Henson. "They're kind of our unsung heroes," said Harrison Barnes.

The six have parlayed their lack of playing time and pop-culture nickname into an ironic stardom within the Carolina family. They are on Twitter (twitter.com/real_bluesteel), providing mostly self-deprecating comments.

"It's a movement, I guess," Hatchell said. More than 7,000 people follow their "tweets from the bench."

When Hatchell, a business major, worked up a design for Blue Steel T-shirts, they quickly sold out.

They even have a hand signal, best described as a flap of the fingers. "It's all about respect," Hatchell said.

Blue Steel's on-court highlight came in the last home game of the regular season, when four senior walk-ons started the game against Duke. They left the floor to a standing ovation, holding a 3-0 lead over the Blue Devils.

"I was just like, wow," Hatchell said. "I lived my dream."

 

4 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • five0goat Mar 26, 2011

    BLUE STEEL!! Greatest walk-ons in history!!

  • Krzyzewskiectomy Mar 25, 2011

    Blue Steel shut out dook. Enough said.

  • packfan79 Mar 25, 2011

    What a stretch for another tar heel story.

  • pskunk119 Mar 25, 2011

    Sounds like a ghey porno. Quite apropos.

  • ACC: Wofford at Clemson

    Saturday at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: Louisville at Auburn

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: Virginia at UCLA

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on FOX50

  • WRAL Sports Sunday

    Sunday at 11:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASL: RailHawks at San Antonio

    Wednesday at 8:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • NASL: RailHawks at Minnesota

    Saturday, Sep. 12 at 8:00 pm on WRAL-2

  • CFB: NC State vs. Troy

    Saturday at 6:00 pm on WRAL-FM

AP Top 25
Thu, Sept 3
013:46
3rd
16
48
 
2
07:03
1st
0
 
7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
22
Fri, Sept 4
4
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
 
5
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
 
7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 北京时间7:15 MST9:15 EST
Preview
23
Sat, Sept 5
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
9
 
21
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
 
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
17
 
9:30 PT10:30 MT11:30 CT12:30 ET4:30 GMT12:30 北京时间9:30 MST11:30 EST
Preview
12
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
18
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
6
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
13
 
1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET8:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST
Preview
24
 
1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET8:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST
Preview
25
 
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
19
 
15
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
 
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
14
 
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
11
 
20
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
3
 
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
10
 
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
7
 
8:00 PT9:00 MT10:00 CT11:00 ET3:00 GMT11:00 北京时间8:00 MST10:00 EST
Preview
8
Mon, Sept 7
1
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
 
NFL Preseason
Thursday, Sep. 3
Baltimore65:02
4th Qtr
Atlanta20
 
New Orleans1011:30
4th Qtr
Green Bay24
 
Cincinnati69:34
4th Qtr
Indianapolis3
 
Tampa Bay2213:26
4th Qtr
Miami10
 
Philadelphia1210:43
4th Qtr
NY Jets24
 
Buffalo104:14
3rd Qtr
Detroit10
 
NY Giants66:59
3rd Qtr
New England6
 
Carolina203:12
3rd Qtr
Pittsburgh3
 
Jacksonville73:41
3rd Qtr
Washington10
 
Cleveland013:55
3rd Qtr
Chicago7
 
Houston7Halftime
Dallas0
 
Kansas City170:59
2nd Qtr
St. Louis17
 
Minnesota3Halftime
Tennessee14
 
Arizona04:25
1st Qtr
Denver10
 
San Diego 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST9:00 CT6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET1:00
San Francisco 
 
Oakland 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST9:00 CT6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET1:00
Seattle 
 
ATP Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 3
US Open (ATP/WTA)
Second Round
(30) T. Bellucci6 6 6   
Y. Nishioka0 3 4   
(28) J. Sock6 6 3 1  
R. Bemelmans4 4 6 2  
(5) S. Wawrinka77 77 78   
H. Chung62 64 66   
(22) V. Troicki712 6 3 6  
R. Ram610 4 6 3  
A. Bedene6 4 4 2  
D. Young3 6 6 6  
(20) D. Thiem6 6 1   
D. Istomin4 4 0   
(31) G. Garcia-Lop6 6 64 6  
N. Mahut4 2 77 1  
(3) A. Murray5 4 6 6 6 
A. Mannarino7 6 1 3 1 
(21) I. Karlovic63 6 6 2 64 
J. Vesely77 3 3 6 77 
(15) K. Anderson6 6 6   
A. Krajicek3 4 2   
(6) T. Berdych77 6 6   
J. Melzer62 1 3   
(13) J. Isner6 6 6   
M. Youzhny3 4 4   
(24) B. Tomic6 6 3 5 7 
L. Hewitt3 2 6 7 5 
(12) R. Gasquet4 6 77 6  
R. Haase6 3 64 4  
(29) P. Kohlschrei77 6 6   
L. Rosol64 2 2   
(2) R. Federer6 6 6   
S. Darcis1 2 1   
 
WTA Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 3
US Open (ATP/WTA)
Second Round
(9) G. Muguruza64 77 2   
J. Konta77 64 6   
L. Tsurenko69 2    
V. Lepchenko711 6    
(16) S. Errani0 6 6   
J. Ostapenko6 4 3   
(22) S. Stosur6 6    
E. Rodina1 1    
(18) A. Petkovic6 77    
E. Vesnina3 64    
(20) V. Azarenka7 6    
Y. Wickmayer5 4    
(2) S. Halep6 6    
K. Bondarenko3 4    
(11) A. Kerber7 6    
K. Knapp5 2    
B. Strycova6 4 7   
Q. Wang2 6 5   
M. Barthel2 6 6   
O. Govortsova6 2 4   
(24) S. Lisicki6 6    
C. Giorgi4 0    
K. Nara4 4    
S. Rogers6 6    
(5) P. Kvitova6 6    
N. Gibbs3 4    
(26) F. Pennetta6 6    
M. Niculescu1 4    
(32) A. Schmiedlov6 5 6   
D. Kovinic4 7 4   
(4) C. Wozniacki3     
P. Cetkovska0