Some 2,250 miles away from the school’s Indianapolis campus, an iron-pumping man sported a blue and white Butler Bulldogs T-shirt for his personal workout.
It wasn’t Gordon Hayward, either.
Moments later, Mr. Butler chuckled when told about the nearby walking Bulldog billboard.
“Butler gained some national prominence with the back-to-back (NCAA) runner-ups,” Hayward said. “It’s cool to see people support it out here.”
Thanks to the college heroics of Hayward, Shelvin Mack, Ronald Nored, Matt Howard, coach Brad Stevens et al, it’s become easier for people to show their support for the Bulldogs.
“Nike finally actually makes Butler stuff now,” Hayward said, beaming with pride. “They used to send us plain Nike shirts and then we had to go put the logo on our ourselves. They make Butler shirts now, which is cool.”
The guy in the gym thought so, too, even if he was only spreading the Butler word because he received a Hayward-approved shirt from a friend who got it from a Bulldog assistant coach at a golf tournament.
Speaking of Hayward, here are a couple of leftover quotes from Tuesday’s feature story about the third-year pro:
• Coach Tyrone Corbin on whether the maturing Hayward has reached veteran status:
“He’s growing in a lot of areas. Now whether he’s a true, true vet yet, that takes a while in this league. One of my things with a veteran is not only you think you’re a vet but … your team and then your league thinks of you as a veteran guy. I think that he’s growing into that. He will get better at it. He’s a young guy still in this league. He has a lot of room to grow.”
• Corbin on Hayward’s progression:
“I like his confidence. I like his approach. He want to be good, and I like the fact that he’ll work to get better and he takes it to heart. And sometimes it hurt him a little bit, he’ll hold onto it a little too long, but it means he love what he’s doing. He want to be the best at what he’s doing and he want to work to get there.”