As they say, name recognize game.
Two of the greatest Badgers basketball players have been honored as the namesakes of a pair of actual badgers at a Madison zoo.
The Henry Vilas Zoo announced Wednesday that its two badger brothers will be named after former hoops stars Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky. The badgers – the animals not the players – will be featured in the forthcoming Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit, which is expected to open in the fall through the "Bring Bucky Home" campaign.
Dekker and Kaminsky – the players, not the animals – led Wisconsin to back-to-back Final Fours in 2014 and 2015, the latter culminating with a loss to Duke in the national championship game.
Dekker, who starred at Sheboygan Lutheran High School before heading to Madison, was drafted with the No. 18 pick by the Houston Rockets last year. Kaminsky, the 2015 AP College Basketball Player of the Year, was selected ninth overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the same draft.
Both Dekker and Kaminsky retweeted the zoo's post, and Dekker also added his own message of appreciation on Twitter.
In December, we reported the bond between Bucks forward Jabari Parker and Onassis, the Milwaukee County Zoo's Amazon River turtle.
Which local player do you think should next be the namesake of (or be befriended by) a zoo animal? Let us know in the comments!
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.