MOUNT PLEASANT — Racine Police Officer William Lojeski always wanted to be on ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” but he didn’t think it would be at his expense.
After a video of him being dunked on by YouTuber Tristan Jass from Kenosha went viral receiving over 4 million views on the “Sports Center” Facebook page, and over 400,000 views on Jass’ YouTube page, Lojeski’s phone started blowing up.
“I knew it was coming,” Lojeski said Wednesday. “I got a bunch of texts from guys at work, and they were just all poking fun.”
Other media outlets picked up the video, adding hundreds of thousands of more views.
On Wednesday, Jass, who earns money from advertisements on his YouTube videos, returned to the Mount Pleasant COP House, 2237 Mead St., to play some more basketball with some police officers and neighborhood kids.
“I knew (the video) was going to go viral,” Jass said. “It just blew up overnight. I had a feeling it was going to blow up, but I didn’t know it was going to be that big.”
Jass said he had a great time playing against the Racine and Mount Pleasant police officers, and he wanted to produce a video showing police officers in a positive light.
“The officers here were welcoming and you know, real cool,” Jass said. “You don’t really see that a lot, so it was real cool to come down here and have a fun time playing basketball with some cops.”
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‘Basketball brings people together’
Mount Pleasant Police Officer Malcolm Kelly, a former basketball player at Carthage College, saw a video of Jass playing against an actor dressed as a police officer and challenged Jass to “come play some real cops.”
Kelly said he knew the video was going to go viral and thought, “This can’t be good.” But it ended up working out for the better.
“It was a good feeling; it’s still a good feeling, to see us, law enforcement, playing with Tristan just touching so many people,” Kelly said. “There are good cops and good departments.”
While Jass donned typical basketball attire, a T-shirt and athletic shorts, the officers played in full uniform with vests and their utility belts.
Jass said he might have to wear some of the police gear in a future video.
“Maybe next time I got to put a vest on so it’s even,” Jass said.
Lojeski said it’s good for the community to see officers in uniform interacting with the community in a positive way to let them know that they can rely on them.
“Everyone sees us in uniform as is,” Lojeski said. “But we have to show that there’s good (police officers) out here that still like to have fun and show some kids in the community that part of the media gives us a bad reputation, (but) don’t be afraid of us. If you need something, come up and talk to us.”
If Jass wants to make another video, maybe with him wearing a vest, Kelly said he is welcome back to the court at the COP house any time.
“(Jass is) allowed to come over whenever — whenever he wants,” Kelly said. “It’s all about basketball. Basketball brings people together.”