Hurricane Frank becomes basketball mascot

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When Brian Stubits accepted a dare from his friends to dress up as a hot dog for the men’s basketball season opener, he had no idea that his outfit would become a fixture at the Convocation Center.

Stubits, otherwise known as Hurricane Frank, had purchased the costume for Halloween. What irked the sophomore from Tacoma, Washington, was how much money he paid for one day’s use of the hot dog. After being egged on by a group of friends, Stubits decided to give the costume a second chance at the basketball game.

“The first game [I wore the costume to], one of the guys from Hurricane Force asked me if I minded if they used me in certain things, like marketing, and if I had a name,” Stubits said. “I told them that I didn’t have a name. All I said to them was that I think Frank would be a good name because I am a hot dog and it’s a personal name. They decided to go with Hurricane Frank.”

Stubits has been a passionate sports fan his entire life, and he attended the high school featured in the movie Ten Things I Hate about You. At his school’s basketball games, Stubits and a group of friends would lead the students’ cheers.

“During basketball games in high school we had a ‘Pit Crew’,” Stubits said. “That’s kind of where my excitement for basketball came from and going to games and being loud, obnoxious, and rowdy.”

Stubits is majoring in broadcast journalism and works on the staff at WVUM, Miami’s student-run radio station. He has done play-by-play on several of the ‘Canes’ basketball and baseball games.

Stubits tries to attend every men’s and women’s basketball games, but sometimes his responsibilities with WVUM prevent that from happening.

“I go to all of the men’s games and I try to go to all of the women’s, but sometimes I get bogged down with radio stuff, like producing and announcing,” he said. “But I just try to get the crowd involved [when I am at the games]. It’s really tough here at school but I have developed a little bit of a following and I lead some of the cheers.”

Stubits joked that the females in attendance at the games have had a mixed response to Hurricane Frank.

“I actually had one of the female cheerleaders wink at me the other day, but I must say that was after I made a witty comment to her,” he said. “At the games, walking around, I usually get a lot of weird looks. Most of the girls laugh; I think they are getting used to it now.”

Hurricane Frank can be found in the front of the student section during most of the ‘Canes’ basketball games. Listen for Stubits’s broadcasts on WVUM, 90.5 FM.

Eric Kalis can be contacted at e.kalis@umiami.edu

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