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Local grads turn boredom into viral video sensation

JamBroz level up their pool dunk video antics, this time with flames


Photo Credit: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Joey Fishback jams the basketball into the hoop to complete a pool dunk at the Whitaker home in Tigard.You’d think coordinating a nine-person pool dunk involving a literal burning ring of fire would be tough to coordinate, but for a group of local young men, it was just another summer day fueled by boredom.

The group, all Tualatin High School graduates and one Tigard High School graduate (met with a collective “boooo” upon his introduction), has created multiple dunk videos since last August, and all have gone viral. After filming an 11-man pool dunk last summer and posting it to Instagram, it got picked up by SportsNation on ESPN and Jimmy Kimmel. Then, ESPN tweeted it, and that’s when the group really started to freak out.

“We were kind of just out here one day and, who’s idea was it?” said Connor Scott, a “JamBroz” participant. “I mean, Derek pretends it was his (idea).”

“I think it was my idea?” said Derek Senger, another participant. “We were kind of just throwing alley-oops to each other, and we were like, ‘Hey, let’s get a video out and put it on social media or something.’”

At this point, the videos they released last summer have each earned from hundreds of thousands to more than a million views online. Their most recent, released two weeks ago and titled “Hottest Pool Dunk Ever” on their JamBroz YouTube channel, had received more than 320,000 views at press time. However, those are just the views directly from their channel. Both ESPN and Bleacher Report picked up the video, but edited it down. The JamBroz estimate that if all the views had been recorded to their channel, it would rank their most popular yet, coming in with over a million views. And really, it wasn’t even that hard, they admit.

“It didn’t get that many views the first day it was on, so we were kind of getting a little nervous, but then I texted (a connection at the Today show) and I said, ‘Hey we made this new video, check it out,’ and she said, ‘I just showed it to everyone — we love it. We’ll put it on tomorrow morning,’” said Jon Fishback. “After that, everyone picked it up.”

And with good reason. The video involves one of the boys leaping through a vertical ring of fire. John Whitaker, a participant and also the owner (well, his parents are the owners) of the pool featured in the video, welded together the copper ring. It was then wrapped in towels and twine and soaked in kerosene. Finally, they lit it on fire. With only about five minutes of burn time, the JamBroz practiced for about an hour before involving the flames, just to make sure they could do it. Then, it was go time. They wanted two takes, one during the day and one at night, which ended up meaning about 20 fire leaps for Joey Fishback.

“I kicked (the fire) a couple times,” he said. “I got black on my feet, but I was right in the pool. It was a little scary. No, I’m really brave.”

Knowing each other from school and sports, the JamBroz approach the dunks the same way they might a team practice: With plenty of mockery and encouragement.

“Are we doing sweet passes now?” asked Cameron Yarnell as they practiced an abridged dunk with six participants.

“No!” the group yelled at him, before attempting an unsuccessful pass.

“We actually did a lot better with flames,” noted Scott.

But less than 10 attempts later, they had it, and were quick to point out areas they could improve in the future.

The group said to expect its next dunk sometime this week or next. And though they were tight-lipped on the details, one slipped out.

“We’re going airborne.”



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