A member of Mercer’s dance team became an internet sensation in November when her attempt at a basketball dunk went horribly wrong.
Sophomore Jenny Mazurkiewicz was at the basketball tipoff event when Sydni Means, her friend and point guard for the women’s team, challenged her to go for a dunk. The problem: it wasn’t the court regulation hoop. It was an unweighted youth goal.
“The second I went for it, I realized that this was not a real goal, and that it wasn’t anchored down at all,” said Mazurkiewicz. “So I was hanging onto the goal and going back, and I was like, ‘I should probably let go of this goal . . . I'm about to hit the floor,’ and it was all slow motion. But obviously it only took a matter of like a second for me to fall,” she said.
The next thing Mazurkiewicz remembers is a group of basketball players hovering over her in disbelief. She had crashed to the floor and took the entire goal with her — and Means caught the whole thing on video.
“Some of them were pulling the goal off of me, Sydni was cracking up in the corner . . . I was barely there, but I was just laying on the floor,” Mazurkiewicz said.[infographic align="left"]
— Sydni M. (@Sydd_Kidd_) November 2, 2016
When Means posted the 3-second video on social media, it wasn’t long before it was found by Snoop Dogg, who posted it on his Instagram page. From there, it went viral, with news sites around the net like ESPN, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and FOX Sports all publishing the video. House of Highlights’ reposting on Vine alone has over 3 million views as of time of writing.
“It wasn’t planned, and that’s what's so crazy,” said Means. “I love Jenny, and I'm happy she’s okay.”
Since the video was posted online, Mazurkiewicz says she has started being recognized in public for her spectacular crash on the court.
“It's crazy, because it’s so surreal . . . people are like, ‘Oh, you're the girl from the video,’ and it's so funny to be recognized as that,” Mazurkiewicz said. “It's just kind of funny that people know me as the girl from the video.”
According to Mazurkiewicz, she and Means have known each other since high school and are always exchanging banter, so when Means told her to go for the dunk, she didn’t give it a second thought.
“We’re just constantly back and forth with each other, so her challenging me to dunk was not out of character at all,” she said. “She was like, ‘Hey, dunk real quick,’ and I was like, ‘Okay, Syd’.”
According to The Telegraph, Mazurkiewicz’s parents had mixed reactions to the video — while her dad found it as funny as the rest of us, her mother was less enthused.
“My dad’s reaction was that I should have made the shot,” Mazurkiewicz told The Telegraph. “And my mom’s reaction was that I needed to go see the doctor because she was really concerned that I was not OK. But I’m fine. I’ve had teachers, coaches, friends’ parents, old friends, everybody contact me.”
As for Mazurkiewicz herself, she said that if given the chance, she actually wouldn’t do the dunk over again knowing what would happen, despite her newfound social media fame.
“It was one of those things that just kind of happened, but it was definitely funny,” she said. “I had no intentions of it blowing up the way that it has, but not sure that I would make that mistake again.”