College building evacuated after student mimics LeBron James


LeBron James fills arenas across the country whenever he plays, but a building on the campus of the University of Central Florida was emptied by a man trying to mimic “The King” and one of his famous pregame rituals.

A building housing classrooms for the school’s business administration program was evacuated by campus police after a man wearing a James replica jersey threw white powder into the air during a class.

For many years, James would dump a chalky powder onto his hands before a game and throw it high into the air just before taking the court. It became such a recognized ritual that Nike even featured it in a commercial.

A witness said the man yelled, “I’m taking my talents elsewhere. I’m going to Miami,” as he threw the powder. James said something very similar when he announced in 2010 that he was leaving the Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat.

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While James brings a smile to the fans when he throws the powder, the UCF student didn’t win over any fans among campus law enforcement.

“We think it was going to be some type of stunt, like the LeBron James stunt, but unfortunately, with the current threat situation the way it is, our firefighters have treated it as a hazmat situation,” UCF police department chief Richard Beary told reporters later in the day.

The man who threw the powder in the UCF classroom and another student immediately left the room, and campus police used social media to ask for help in locating the suspects, one of whom was wearing a James jersey from his days with the Miami Heat.

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Shortly after the building was evacuated, authorities identified the white powder as baby formula.

The building was reopened about an hour after the incident began.

UCF police later identified the man who threw the powder and the man who filmed the incident, a spokeswoman said. Officers are considering charges against the men, saying they didn’t find the prank funny.

“We are not amused, especially in light of heightened concerns about safety. It should go without saying that pranks and stunts that create fear and panic are unacceptable,” a UCF police spokesperson told WESH in Orlando.

UCF police said there was no threat to the campus.

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According to UCF police, the men involved in the incident claimed they did it as a joke and did not mean any harm.

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Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. A native of Milwaukee, he currently resides in Phoenix.
Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism. A native of Milwaukee, he has resided in Phoenix since 2012.
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