Maryland Basketball Starts a Dance Craze

Courtesy of CBS Baltimore

Every few months there seems to be a new trend on social media. August 2014 brought the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS research. With the rise of Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, the Dab took over in late 2015. Just earlier this year “Damn Daniel” made everyone named Daniel wish they could go off the grid.

But the past few weeks, a new trend has emerged right here in College Park. Maryland basketball players Jared Nickens and Jaylen Brantley have been posting numerous videos of themselves and teammates doing the “The Running Man” around campus, whether it be in the locker room or at a 7-11.

I came across the first video a few weeks ago while scanning through Snapchat stories a few weeks ago. I figured it was just another time they were fooling around in the locker room after a workout. Since their Sweet Sixteen loss to Kansas, there had been an increasing number of videos of them dancing in the locker room. I figured this would be no different.


A post shared by Jaylen Brantley (@jaybriddle_1) on

But after Jaylen Brantley posted a video on his Instagram account on April 13 with the caption “Who wanna battle??????”, the video took off.

Who wanna battle?????? @jnickens_

A post shared by Jaylen Brantley (@jaybriddle_1) on

First it was national champion Villanova.

Then it was Virginia Tech, with former Terp Seth Allen leading the way.

It didn’t stop there. The movement traveled off the east coast, with Marquette posting a video.

We wit the movement ttm @sacar_anim15 …. @jnickens_ @jaybriddle_1 @krisjenk2 @pbooth_5

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The song they’re dancing to is “My Boo” by the Ghost Town DJs, which was released in 1996. The song was the band’s only hit, reaching #31 on Billboard’s Hot 100. I have no idea why they chose this song, but I can’t get  the 10 seconds of the song they use out of my head.

This isn’t the first time a current song has been used for an Internet sensation. It also happened back in 2007, when people started being rickrolled with a video of Rick Astley’s 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

After teams answered the challenge, Nickens and Brantley answered posting four videos over the next five days. A compilation was posted by Whistle Sports Facebook page, and has been viewed over 4 million times. Five of the videos posted on Nickens’ Instagram have over one million views. The best far from Nickens has been one of him dancing in a super market, with fellow teammate (for now) Melo Trimble looking on.

According to a story on the Maryland Athletics website, Brantley said it just started with them messing around in the locker room. He said they didn’t realize it was going to be big until Villanova answered the challenge. Nickens said he’s probably watched over a thousand of the videos, and is enjoying seeing how much people are having fun with it.

The team has been quiet for a few days, but more teams, including Michigan and Ohio State football, have responded to the challenge.

But have no fear, Nickens said another installment will be out soon.

But for now please enjoy some of my favorite Running Man Challenge videos.