On Thursday night, Arizona Wildcats star Deandre Ayton became the first-ever No. 1 overall draft pick in Phoenix Suns history.
Along with being one of the most physically imposing collegiate athletes in recent memory, the Bahamian native also has a bit of a goofy side.
"On the road trips, we didn’t get to see Deandre sometimes. There was somebody else in his place. Somebody else wearing his skin, wearing his face, wearing his gear," UA basketball public address announcer Jeff Dean said during a recent Wildcat Country podcast on ABC15 and 1580 The Fanatic.
"For instance, he would get on the airplane and he would introduce himself as Rodrigo to people: 'Hello, I’m Rodrigo,' and he would speak in a very broken Latin accent."
When he wasn't transforming into "Rodrigo," Ayton would often portray a kindly middle-aged gentleman named "Josh" who enjoyed reminiscing about vacations with the family. Ayton introduced "Josh" and a host of other personas in a recent interview with Slam magazine.
"(Josh) would say, 'Hey, remember in 1987 when we went on that trip to Hawaii?'" Dean said.
Fortunately, Suns fans won't have to worry about "Rodrigo," "Josh" or any other of his alter egos taking the court.
"The good news is, as soon as he crosses that line to get in between those 94 feet (on the basketball court), he becomes Deandre. At all times, he’s Deandre on the basketball court," Dean said.
"You would not want to see Josh (on the court). Josh would be congratulating people on playing good defense and say, 'Oh, that’s a great shot you took there.'"
Along with being perhaps the top prospect in this year's draft, Dean says Ayton is among the most entertaining UA players he's ever had the pleasure to travel with.
"Listen, Deandre is one of the funniest people I’ve ever been around," Dean said. "He just likes to have fun. Deandre is always having fun."
But Dean says Suns fans should know this: Just because Ayton is a fun-loving guy doesn't mean he isn't all business when he takes the court.
"I’ve sat through five years of Arizona practices," Dean said. "Nobody worked as hard as Deandre. Nobody, period."