What do you get when you mix a competitive gymnast with a mechanical engineering student that loves to just off of trampolines with the Suns’ Gorilla? Apparently, a media senstation.
Nick Corrales, an 18-year-old member of the Suns’ Verve Sol Patrol (a.k.a. the lunatics that jump off trampolines to dunk the ball during games), burst onto the national scene Wednesday for basically reminding everyone how scary of a life acrobats live.
During the third period of the Suns’ home game against the Bobcats, the Suns performer did what he would usually do, bound off a trampoline at full speed, springing 20 feet into the air before dunking the ball in some creative fashion through the rim.
But on Wednesday, he knew something was off as soon as they jumped off of the trampoline.
“As a gymnast, you tend to know when something isn’t going the way that it is planned,” Corrales said. “I was hoping to get my hands on the rim so I could push myself away. But as I dunked the ball – which I had to do – there was only really one way out and so I went through the rim.”
Most normal people wouldn’t say that dunking the ball when your well-being is on the line is an imperative, but most people haven’t been a member of the best team of gymnasts in the state for the past decade. Most normal people don’t find flipping in the air at full speed and ramming a ball through a hoop to be a part of their daily job description.
However, the 5-8, 145-pound Corrales does.
“When you find yourself competing you get used to putting yourself in scary situations,” he said. “It was just another thing I had to get myself out of. I’m just happy I didn’t get stuck and got myself through the rim.”
As to whether there will be an encore, Corrales said that becoming a “human dunk” will no longer be in his repertoire. Although unharmed by the event, he doesn’t want to press his luck.
Corrales is pursuing a four-year mechanical engineering degree from Arizona St. and hopes to complete his master’s in five years. It turns out that the diminutive dunker has enjoyed building engines for as long as he can remember.
While one would think that the high-flying Corrales would be into building airplane engines, he actually is fascinated with constructing automotive engines. And in that career, he won’t have to jump through as many hoops… literally.