PHOENIX — A Valley man turned a negative fan experience into his Phoenix Suns superfan alter ego.
Mr. ORNG (pronounced "orange") was born more than a decade ago. While attending Phoenix Suns games, he was always the loudest in his section among other season ticket holders, and it wasn't until he received negative comments from his home crowd, that he decided to make a change.
"Some games I would be cheering and excited and into it and people would be looking at me and [say], 'Hey be quiet calm down' and I’m like 'are you kidding me? This is sports! They feed off this,'" said Mr. ORNG.
Shortly after, a friend suggested that he take things to the next level. "I started to spray my hair orange, put on a little orange paint," and Mr. ORNG was born.
With orange spiked hair, a matching headband, and bright orange wardrobe that takes many forms, Mr. ORNG quickly became a must-see fan at Suns' games.
He turned his fandom into a stage for positivity. Mr. ORNG has visited fans in the hospital and does public speaking events to kids preaching to them to follow their dreams, just as he did in pursuing the ultimate fan life.
"What passion do you have? What do you want to do? And I say ‘ask yourself that question, think about it you may not have the answer right now. But when you identify what that is and what truly makes you happy, go achieve,'" said Mr. ORNG.
His alter ego, Patrick Battillo, works in logistics and is the head coach for the Peoria High School varsity boys basketball team. Battillo's whole life is dedicated to giving back and inspiring others.
"Giving back all around the sport of basketball, helping develop the youth. That’s where my passion comes [from]."