Ole Miss student manager’s enthusiastic response to spill goes viral

Published 3:43 pm Thursday, February 1, 2024

Kyle Wakefield takes his job as student manager for the Ole Miss men’s basketball team very seriously and the whole country had a front-row view of his dedication and enthusiasm when a video of him wiping up the court went viral Wednesday.

The game was Tuesday night in the Sandy and John Black Pavilion against rivals Mississippi State University. In the video, Wakefield is seen running with a court floor mop to clean up what he thought was a bit of sweat on the floor.

Student manager Kyle Wakefield reacts to the crowds’ approval after he wiped up the floor. Photos by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

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“But as soon as I got over there, I was like, I better go get these towels and really get the job done,” Wakefield said Thursday during a press conference. “So, I just went over, grabbed the towels to wipe it up as quick as possible so we can get the game back on track to impact the win.”

Wakefield is seen on the video vigorously wiping up the spill, and the fans went wild, cheering him on. He in turn jumped and waved at the crowd waving the towels in the air.

A senior, Wakefield became a student manager for the team in 2020 under then-coach Kermit Davis. He believes his job is not just about cleaning floors but helping to motivate the players by being an energetic, positive force.

“I love Ole Miss. I love this team. I want to thank Coach Kermit Davis for giving me the first opportunity for being here at Ole Miss and Coach (Chris) Beard for giving me the opportunity to work for him and keeping me on his staff. It’s been a wild ride and I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Ole Miss won the game against MSU, 86 to 82.

Beard said it didn’t take him long to see what Davis saw in “Wake.”

“He inspires us all every single day,” Beard said Thursday. “He’s never in a bad mood. His work ethic is unquestionable. He impacts winning.”

Wakefield is originally from Texas and is working toward a journalism degree. He said his love for the team and Ole Miss continually motives him and he hopes the team members can benefit from the energy he brings to each game.

“They feed off my energy,” he said. “They see me working hard down there and I’m really just there for them. I want them to have a clean floor to play on and I take a lot of pride in that.”