Revealing some nicknames
There’s an “African Snail,” a “Big Bird” and a “Big Island” on the Hawaii basketball team this season.
While there are no last names on the back of the game jerseys this season, every player on the team has a nickname – whether they like it or not.
Senior forward Bill Amis and junior guard Zane Johnson revealed some of the nicknames recently. Among them:
• Sophomore center Vander Joaquim is called the “African Snail” because he’s from Angola and moves at a considerably slower pace than the rest of his teammates, both on and off the court.
• Senior center Douglas Kurtz is called “Big Island” because, at 7 feet tall and 260 pounds, he is the biggest player on the Hawaii roster.
• Redshirt sophomore Davis Rozitis, who is also 7 feet tall, is known as “Big Bird,” although he does not necessarily approve of his nickname. Rozitis, who is originally from Latvia, said he does not even know the Sesame Street character.
Other players have nicknames that are plays off their actual names. Bobby Miles, for example, is called “B-Miles” and Bo Barnes is known as “Bo-ses.”
Johnson is called “Zaner” and Amis is “Famous Amis.” But Rozitis, in defiance of his Big Bird nickname, said his nickname for Bill is “Lame-is Amis.”
In any case, the good-natured nicknaming of teammates appears to be an indication of the unity of the group. Here is the video of Amis and Johnson having some fun with the nicknames: