Benchwarmers rarely get their own highlight video, but thanks to the efforts of varsity basketball guard Greg Zatzkis ’13 and friend Andrew Miller ’13, the off-the-bench play of Zatzkis has gone viral.
Titled “5’10 Greg Zatzkis Is STILL The Most Exciting White Boy In High School!”, the video features several of Zatzkis’ exploits at his senior night home game against St. Francis.
He drinks water, shakes hands with the refs and stretches. Numerous shots show him doing his main job on the team: cheering enthusiastically from the bench.
Zatzkis’s favorite part of the video is the clip of him walking out at the start of the game.
“I just can’t believe it worked so perfectly,” Zatzkis said. “As I’m walking out, no one is cheering and the cheerleaders are already walking away.”
Since being posted on YouTube March 20, the video has garnered nearly 12,000 views and has been reposted on sites such as Reddit and Sports Shmorts. It gained more fame when the popular Facebook page “Basketball Forever” posted it. It received over 2,500 likes.
Zatzkis and Miller are completely surprised by the video’s success.
“When we originally did it, it was supposed to be a little more of a joke between friends,” Zatzkis said. “I honestly didn’t think we were gonna do it until that night when I saw [Miller] with his camera on my way out of the locker room.”
“I didn’t really expect to get much [attention], but I think it’s pretty cool that people find it funny outside of Harvard-Westlake,” Miller said.
Zatzkis credits Miller for the success of the video.
“He kind of ended up taking the reins; he recorded it and did most of the editing,” Zatzkis said.
Miller also advertised the video by posting it to other videos and sending it to local reporters.
“We sent it to a couple basketball pages. Our final goal is to somehow get on the Yahoo homepage,” Miller said.
The video broke out when he posted the link to the popular Aquille Carr Mixtape, which the Zatzkis mixtape is based on.
The original video follows the high school phenom, who, despite being 5’6, scored an average of 31 points per game sophomore season.
“We ended up just promoting our video [in the comment],” Zatzkis said. “It was a little deceiving. It got mixed responses, some was laughter and some was ‘wow I watched that kid and he was awful.’”
A fan of the video is Los Angeles Times Prep Sports Writer Eric Sondheimer. Miller sent the video to him and he ended up posting it to his blog.
“He’s got a future – just not in basketball,” Sondheimer said in an article. “But it’s a video idea I never would have thought of. Those Harvard-Westlake students are always the smartest around.”
Zatzkis averaged 0.5 points, 0.1 assists, and 0.4 rebounds on the season. Even though he received little playing time, the first-year varsity player is glad he was a part of the team.
“All in all it was a great season with great coaches, great teammates and great fans,” Zatzkis said. “And I have to say, from the point of view of the star benchwarmer, it was probably the greatest season I ever watched.”