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 with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to 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.

Listen & Watch
  • HighSchoolOT Live

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on WRAL-2

  • Football Friday

    Tomorrow at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC Football: Pittsburgh @ Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Logan Zone

    Sunday at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: The Tour Championship

    Sunday at 1:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Oakland @ Washington

    Friday, Sep. 29 at 8:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL Football: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers

    Tonight at 8:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • College Football: Duke at North Carolina

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

AP Top 25
Thu, Sept 21
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
21
Fri, Sept 22
23
7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 北京时间7:30 MST9:30 EST
Preview
Sat, Sept 23
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
12
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
19
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
Preview
10
11:00 PT12:00 MT1:00 CT2:00 ET6:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST
Preview
13
5
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
2
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
14
16
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
6
1
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
Preview
8
1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET8:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST
Preview
3:00 PT4:00 MT5:00 CT6:00 ET10:00 GMT6:00 北京时间3:00 MST5:00 EST
Preview
18
3
3:30 PT4:30 MT5:30 CT6:30 ET10:30 GMT6:30 北京时间3:30 MST5:30 EST
Preview
22
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
17
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
11
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
25
4
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
20
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
15
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
24
7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
7
7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 21
LA Rams 5:25 PT6:25 MT7:25 CT8:25 ET0:25 GMT8:25 5:25 MST7:25 EST7:25 CT4:25 UAE (+1)20:25 ETNaN:�
Preview
San Francisco 
Sunday, Sep. 24
Baltimore 6:30 PT7:30 MT8:30 CT9:30 ET13:30 GMT21:30 6:30 MST8:30 EST8:30 CT17:30 UAE9:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
Jacksonville 
Denver 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Buffalo 
New Orleans 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Carolina 
Pittsburgh 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Chicago 
Atlanta 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Detroit 
Cleveland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Indianapolis 
Tampa Bay 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Minnesota 
Houston 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
New England 
Miami 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
NY Jets 
NY Giants 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Philadelphia 
Seattle 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ETNaN:�
Preview
Tennessee 
Cincinnati 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
Preview
Green Bay 
Kansas City 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
Preview
LA Chargers 
Oakland 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
Washington 
Monday, Sep. 25
Dallas 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
Arizona 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Memphis 4:07 PT5:07 MT6:07 CT7:07 ET12:07 GMT
Durham 
ATP Scoreboard
Wednesday, Sep. 20
St. Petersburg Open (ATP)
First Round
R. Dutra Silv2 6 6   
R. Albot6 2 2   
(8) J. Struff3 6 6   
B. Coric6 2 4   
D. Lajovic64 3    
G. Pella77 6    
D. Medvedev64 5    
T. Fabbiano77 7    
J. Sousa77 6    
E. Donskoy62 3    
Second Round
D. Dzumhur6 77    
M. Baghdatis4 64    
(4) A. Mannarino6 4 0   
L. Broady2 6 6   
 
Moselle Open (ATP)
First Round
D. Brown1 64    
N. Mahut6 77    
(5) M. Zverev63 6 6   
P. Herbert77 3 2   
P. Mathieu5 2    
H. Laaksonen7 6    
Second Round
(8) G. Simon4 64    
P. Gojowczyk6 77    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Wednesday, Sep. 20
Guangzhou Women's Open (WTA)
Second Round
(3) A. Kontaveit0 5    
L. Cabrera6 7    
Y. Wang1 2    
E. Rodina6 6    
A. Krunic6 6    
M. Barthel4 0    
K. Zhang3 0    
R. Peterson6 6    
(2) S. Zhang6 6    
I. Soylu0 0    
X. Han0 0    
K. Kozlova6 6    
(1) S. Peng4 4    
Y. Wickmayer6 6    
(6) A. Cornet77 2 6   
D. Kovinic64 6 3   
 
Korea Open (WTA)
First Round
(6) T. Maria5 5    
K. Ahn7 7    
Second Round
S. Sorribes T6 6    
N. Han1 2    
(5) I. Begu3 6 2   
B. Haddad Mai6 4 6   
V. Cepede Roy4 6 6   
K. Ahn6 4 3   
 
Toray Pan Pacific Open (WTA)
Second Round
(2) K. Pliskova6 6    
M. Linette2 1    
(1) G. Muguruza6 6    
M. Puig4 0    
(7) A. Kerber77 6    
D. Kasatkina65 3