As March Madness is almost here, we take a trip down memory lane and look back at some of the best viral moments in NCAA tournament history. Here is Mid Major Madness’ take on one of the best hyped parents we’ve seen:
When North Texas claimed its first NCAA tournament win, the star of the show was not a player or coach. It was the father of star player Javion Hamlet.
Hamlet scored 24 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and dished out five assists to lift the 13th-seeded Mean Green over No. 4 Purdue 78-69 in overtime in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA tournament.
Javion Hamlet was COOKING in the Mean Green’s upset— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 20, 2021
24pts | 12reb | 5ast@MeanGreenMBB | #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/2jryT9bPvY
His father, Louis, donned a specialty sweater with his son’s picture on it, jumped around in the sparsely populated stands due to COVID capacity restrictions, and was filming or taking pictures on his iPad the entire time.
No one was more hyped for the North Texas win than Javion Hamlet’s dad @MeanGreenMBB | #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/ahqi27jZXO— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 20, 2021
His joy, pride and excitement are what the NCAA tournament is all about. A mid-major against a perennial power from a major conference. An under-the-radar player puts up a great performance. A double-digit seed advances to launch a potential Cinderella run. And he personified all of our emotions going through the roller-coaster ride of March Madness.
The sweater included a listing of his son’s accomplishments on the front. The back, meanwhile, featured the names Hamlet and Shakespeare in addition to the phrase “Javion the final act.”
Find someone who roots for you like Javion Hamlet's dad pic.twitter.com/mtuyBNWEor— March Madness Men’s Basketball TV (@MM_MBB_TV) March 22, 2021
In a game in which North Texas led nearly the entire way, Purdue tied the game with 21 seconds remaining in regulation. The Mean Green scored the first 11 of the extra period to pull out the victory. Javion scored eight points and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line in OT.
As Louis’ popularity blossomed during the Mean Green’s upset, Twitter blew up.
Javion Hamlet's dad showed up to the North Texas game with a sweater listing all of his son's accomplishments ❤️ pic.twitter.com/DbheJMMTtF— SB Nation (@SBNation) March 20, 2021
"Don't ever doubt Javion Hamlet." - Javion Hamlet just now.— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) March 20, 2021
So don't ever do that.
Legendary dad sweater. pic.twitter.com/xy88o6Cpgp— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 20, 2021
We need to talk about how Peak Dad™ Javion Hamlet’s dad is.— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) March 20, 2021
Photo of his son on his shirt AND taking photos and video with the iPad.
Dad power. pic.twitter.com/NldW7Owl2o
Louis Hamlet is pulling off legendary dad moves— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 20, 2021
• Wore sweater of his son, Javion, and all his accolades.
• Taking pics on an iPad. pic.twitter.com/Rff31Q2exc
North Texas faced No. 5 Villanova in the second round. The Mean Green’s season came to an end as it fell to the Wildcats 84-61. The C-USA champs led early in the game, but a 34-6 Nova run put the game out of reach. Javion finished with 25 points on 8-for-16 shooting.
Before the NCAA tournament, Louis was a star for the television cameras at the American Athletic Conference tournament as well. It was there that North Texas won the championship and punched its ticket to the Big Dance for the first time in 11 years.
During the Mean Green’s four-game run to claim the conference championship, Javion averaged 18.5 points, 7.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game on his way to being named the tournament MVP.
“I’ve always told him, I said, ‘man, you’ve got a special name - your last name,” Louis told CBS DFW. “‘You wait. One day, you’re going to see it. To hear it.’”
It was a long road for Javion to get to that stage. He was two-star recruit out of high school with no Division-I offers. He began his college career at Motlow State Community College before heading to Buffalo for a short stay. He then found his way to Northwest Florida State, where he spent one season and then joined the Mean Green.
In his first year with North Texas, he won the 2020 C-USA Player of the Year as he led the conference in assists, assist-to-turnover ratio and free throw percentage for a team that won the regular season championship.