When the University of Miami’s basketball team reached the NCAA tournament’s Final Four in Houston this weekend, Hopkinton’s Jason Hicks was just happy to be along for the ride.
The team’s head student manager, Hicks often could be seen at the end of the bench supporting the players.
On Saturday night, during the Hurricanes’ national semifinal game against the University of Connecticut, Hicks was thrust into the spotlight. Nigel Pack, one of Miami’s top players, needed a new pair of sneakers due to an issue with the pair he had been wearing. The first substitute pair was not suitable, and cameras followed Hicks as he ran off the court and back toward the team’s locker room in search of a new pair.
“Look at this kid. He’s going to be a marathon man by the time the game is over,” joked color commentator Bill Raftery, undoubtedly having no idea Hicks hails from the home of the Boston Marathon start line.
Lead announcer Jim Nantz later shared Hicks’ name with the millions of viewers.
The lighthearted moment quickly took hold on social media, with Hicks being assigned the nickname “Shoe Boy.”
Of course, a segment of social media critics weighed in as Miami headed toward a season-ending loss, with some complaining that the team should have been better prepared or moved faster.
Hicks, a former youth basketball player and student manager for the Hopkinton High School boys varsity, took the high road.
“Shoe boy here,” he wrote on Twitter late Saturday night. “I want to apologize to @NigelPack24. No excuses. I hope this doesn’t distract from the amazing season these guys had.”
Responded Pack: “Don’t let their negativity effect you Jason they don’t know how much u mean to this team. Good Hustle.”
Shoe boy here. I want to apologize to @NijelPack24. No excuses. I hope this doesn’t distract from the amazing season these guys had. https://t.co/skRWkZik5j
— Jason Hicks (@Jhicks101010) April 2, 2023