Meet Virginia basketball manager Austin Diduch, a chin-rubbing campus celebrity
On Friday night, a Virginia basketball equipment manager stood between Turner Sports reporter Lewis Johnson and Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett during a Sweet 16 halftime interview. He used the 20-second hit as an opportunity to showcase a pose that has made him a minor celebrity on the University of Virginia campus, the “hot boi."
His name is Austin Diduch, a senior from Charlottesville, Va. who has a knack for lurking in the background of photos. He's built a following on Snapchat (username: bigauva) thanks to his repeated use of the chin-rub. Now, he's gone viral, and he's ready to help Virginia to the Final Four from the bench.
This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Campus Rush: Walk me through Friday night when you videobombed Tony Bennett's interview. Did you get yourself on camera on purpose, or did you just find yourself picking up towels at the right time?
Austin Diduch: I found myself towards the end of the bench on Friday at the start of halftime when I realized that a bright light was facing Coach Bennett. That's when I knew there was a camera, and an interview was about to take place. I thought to myself, "this is too easy." I was born ready for this moment. This was my time to shine.
As I was sorting through the towels, I flashed the "hot boi," and realized America had not seen it long enough. I executed the pose a few more times and I was satisfied in knowing that America got what it wanted.
CR: So you told me you've been doing 'this pose' for eight months. What the heck is 'this pose' called? When was its debut?
AD: During the summer of 2015, I was observing one of my close friend groups, the “Lit Guys." I noticed a new pose that they had recently discovered but hadn't hit the masses. I immediately came to the conclusion that this pose needed to become famous. And so I learned, practiced, and mastered it until I could execute it with ease. This so-called “chin rub" with squinty eyes has become known as the “hot boi." That first week of July 2015 was my first memory of doing it, and I've gone on to entertain my large fan base on Snapchat using the pose in many settings.
CR: And it's caught on with other students?
AD: It's certainly caught on with several hundred students, some within my fraternity, and has extended to friends and family outside of that. Mostly those who follow my Snapchat or have seen me around Grounds sometimes ask me to do the “hot boi" as they pass on the walk to class.
Austin, and cardboard cutout Austin, posing for the camera
CR: Why did you decide the “hot boi" was going to be your go-to move?
AD: Since I've been photo-bombing pictures and posing in Snapchats, I have realized it has become a very well known signature move of mine. This past season that I've been behind the bench, I've attempted to do the "hot boi" during foul shots or as a 3-point celebration. Unfortunately, the cameramen have no idea that I've perfected this pose and they prefer to capture the game instead. That's when I knew it was time to make the call. Friday night just happened to be the biggest stage I had been able to do the "hot boi" on and I'm happy that social media has picked up on this signature pose.
CR: Where will you be sitting on Sunday night, so we can prepare ourselves for another videobomb?
AD: I am blessed to be sitting in the seats the behind the main bench. Another senior manager will take my place on the bench as part of the rotation we have done this postseason.