“Ugly Court” Costs Ducks 5-Star Basketball Phenom

Darren Perkins Editorials

The Oregon Ducks are known for their flashy uniforms, state-of-the-art facilities, and (thanks to Nike) general “cool” factor. But, that zest for being a leader in cutting-edge sports innovation finally caught up to the Ducks over the weekend as 2025 5-Star basketball recruit Keoni Thompson made it known that he was passing on the Ducks.

He made no bones about it.

“That court is U-G-L-Y, ugly!” said an exasperated Thompson, as he continued, “It didn’t seem that bad on TV, but in person, it gave me a massive headache.”

The 6’7″ Thompson — a point-forward with excellent explosiveness, shooting range, and ball skills — is a five-star recruit out of Phoenix and rated as the top high school prospect in more than a decade. He suffers from a rare form of vertigo known as Visually Induced Dizziness brought on by a bicycle accident, and head trauma as a six-year-old.

During his on-campus visit, he claims that he began to feel uncomfortable within minutes of stepping onto the court at Matthew Knight Arena. After 20 minutes of a casual shoot-around with a few Oregon players, he found himself sprinting to the closest trash can, and began to vomit violently.

The Thompson situation brought back uncomfortable memories of 2002’s introduction of Mandrake (also known as “RoboDuck”), a sporty, muscular, and futuristic mascot meant to complement and possibly replace Oregon’s long-time Disney-inspired mascot The Oregon Duck.

“This situation ranks right up there with that,” said a national recruiting analyst.Oregon got a little ahead of itself in the RoboDuck situation. There was an instant backlash. This is different in that we have had the court for 13 years and this is the first major consequence of our cutting-edge basketball floor.”

“As a kid, I always wanted to be a Duck,” stated Thompson. “The uniforms and Nike always made them my favorite team. But, that floor, it’s just too much for me.”

Even more concerning for Oregon is Thompson’s potential landing spot.

“I’ve always found the color purple to be soothing to my condition,” stated Thompson, “So, I’m pretty excited about the University of Washington and its new coaching staff. I think they’re going to build something very special in Seattle as they prepare for the Big 10.”

Who would have ever thought that Oregon’s basketball court would serve as such tasty red meat to their bitter rival the Huskies?

“If it wasn’t for that ugly court, I’d be a Duck, no question about it,” exclaimed Thompson. Oregon coach Dana Altman and Athletic Director Rob Mullens were unavailable for comment.

(BTW…did you have as much fun with April Fools Day as I and Mr. FishDuck just did?)

Darren Perkins
Spokane, WA
Top photo credit: X/Twitter

Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in technology in SLC, Utah.

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