Flashback: Catching up with the man who launched 1,000 GIFs
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - You may not remember any of the plays from the game, but the celebration afterwards will live on forever. Saturday marks one year since the Mercer Bears upset the Duke Blue Devils in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Lake Norman High School graduate Kevin Canevari was in the middle of a group of Mercer players doing a dance called the Nae Nae.
WATCH THE DANCE VIDEO HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGHsXk3AtnE
About ten seconds of the dance was shown on live television and Kevin went viral.
"[Its common for] people to come up to me and ask me if I'm the one that did the Nae Nae after we beat Duke," said Canevari. "If I'm the one that was dancing and acting a fool."
"We danced after a couple of big wins," he said including the team's Southern Conference championship win. "We had a huge dance circle there. It's just something we had fun with."
He says he doesn't have to dance much when he goes to parties these days.
"I wish, but no, my dance moves are currently in retirement. I had to leave that in the past."
He says he was shocked how quickly the dance clip gained traction and went viral.
"We were all surprised, really. It was really fun though," he said. "It really showed our joy to be there, our excitement and hopefully put Mercer on the map a little bit more."
He says he doesn't want the dance to overshadow the team's big win over Duke.
"We just beat Duke, which was really our biggest moment in program history. It was over 100 years in basketball."
"We talked about it before the game. We were confident going in," he said about the game which saw Mercer take a run on the last five minute to win. "We knew we could hang with them. It's another story to actually finish a game and beat Coach K in Raleigh. The odds are really against you playing in Duke's back yard."
"To really finish it, like you said, that stretch where they made a run, they went up probably about five and we were able to chip it down," he said. "Really just shows the character of our seniors and our team."
Canevari was part of Lake Norman High's state title in 2010, but he doesn't want to pick which one was a bigger deal.
"I really don't wanna pick one. I think there is beauty in both," he said. "To beat Duke, that was the pinnacle of my basketball career [...] both we weren't supposed to win. My senior year in high school we were ranked high in the state, but we definitely weren't supposed to win the state championship. So at that time I would have told you that was the best thing that could have happened to me athletically."
When it comes to his family's thoughts on the dance?
"Well my cousin, Bobby, is the one I get all my dance moves from. I always give him credit for that." he joked. "They were just excited for me. My dad and mom, they are very passionate people. I was raised in an Italian family, so they are always hugging, music playing and food out. So they were all for it and cheering me on."
While his days playing basketball are over, Canevari is still at Mercer getting his MBA, but he's a graduate assistant helping coach the basketball team. He also does some on-air work with ESPN3 for Mercer's home games.
He hopes to do more with the broadcasting work or get more into coaching when he's done with school.
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