The Western Illinois University Leathernecks are currently ranked 1st in the Summit League, with a record of 16-5, 8-2 in conference play. It’s probably not a team that most people would recognize, but their mascot, Rocky has officially made his first big-time debut.
I wouldn’t exactly call it the best debut he could have though. Rocky’s video went viral after running into a cheerleader that was flipping across the court.
The best part about this, how in the world did the mascot not see the cheerleader coming? Were his eyes closed? It seemed pretty obvious to me that there was a cheerleader flipping across the court. At least she was alright and got up immediately after collision.
Last season, the Leathernecks went 18-15 and made it to the CBI Tournament, where they lost to Oregon State in the first round. The team is currently under the direction of Jim Molinari, who was previously head coach for Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.
Somehow, the Leathernecks have turned themselves around this year and are likely going to win their division which could lead them to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. It would be a very exciting moment considering it is such a small school in Central Illinois.
Even though their school name is not known for their basketball skills nationwide quite yet, maybe their mascot’s run-in with the back-flipping cheerleader will be a good start, especially since it already made it onto ESPN. They may not be in a major conference, but I could easily see them making an upset in the NCAA Tournament if they make it that far.