"Wasssss goinnnnn onn? How y'all doin?" If you have ever been in the basketball locker room past 9 PM on a weeknight, you have no doubt been greeted like that by Ricky Reno. Ricky is the head of the maintenance staff at the gym, but he is so much more than that. He is part mascot, part trash talker, and always entertaining. Ricky hails from Detroit and has a really deep accent that is tough to understand on a good day, but when Ricky gets excited and talks fast, you just have to listen in for key words then try to piece every thing together into something comprehensible.
I was not going to post on Ricky for a little while, but I just had to do this one today after what he wore to the game last night. He usually comes in the locker room a few hours before every game to ask the guys if they are ready and make his presence felt. He's about 5'10" and quite rotund, and when he walks into a room you can't miss him, and that was especially the case yesterday. So he comes into the locker room with a cap on that has Black and White stars all over then he had the matching jacket to go with it. He was parading around in this outlandish outfit saying, "I'm big pimpin y'all. Big pimpin in the building." It was priceless and I snapped a photo for y'all.
In addition to his pre-game pep talks, Ricky also trash talks quite a bit. For example, last year after John Jenkins declared for the draft, myself, John, Rod Odom, and another manager Rob Cross were in the locker room with Ricky when he decided to tell Rod what his expectations were for next season. It sounded something like this,
"Now, Rod, you know big daddy goin to that NBA now. You gonna need to step up when daddy is gone, you need to be da new daddy Rod. John he gone, it's you now Rod. Needa be scorin some buckets next year, no more bullshittin now Rod. You needa step up, be da man, be dat big man now that daddy's gone. He ain't here no more Rod, you still here. John he gone. He makin money, he gone, he not comin back. Need big things from you Rod. Big things. Real big things. Be out there workin hard cause yous da man, you got that Rod? Yous da man." Rick rambled on like that for another five or so minutes repeating that same refrain in some form or another over and over.
Then there was the time when we cleaned out the locker room after the season. It tends to get messy over the course of the year but we were trying to clean it up a little before the summer and we showed Rick the cleaned locker room, he got one glance at it and said, "my Gawd", before nearly collapsing out of shock.
The last thing Ricky does is he's always in the locker room into the wee hours of the morning. He watches quite a wide variety of television shows late night ranging from Numbers to whatever they air on BET at 2:30 AM. Occasionally he stays up for the entire show, but more often than not he doses off into a light sleep with a heavy snore. He awakes easily so when his sleep is disturbed, it's back to the familiar refrain, "Was goin on?" before dosing off yet again until tomorrow.
If you ever get a chance, introduce yourself to Rick at one of our games. He's one of the best guys you'll ever meet.