The Backhand

Inside The WSO

Stuart Barefoot

If you've been to the WSO facebook page, attended any community events or follow us on twitter, then you've most likely seen our lovable mascot, Bo. The big, friendly, yellow ball is a new feature this year, so an official introduction to our mascot is in order here.
To this point, Bo has been a big hit. "I don't know how you measure success for this" said Amy Schultz, the Associate Tournament Director, "but when people recognize him and know his name, that's a success." Amy has reason to be particularly interested. Bo is her brainchild. In preparation for last year's tournament, she noticed that during all of the promotional events people always recognized Tournament Director, Bill Oakes. It only stood to reason that the WSO should have it's own mascot. So she got to thinking, did some planning and now after months of hard work her creation is alive (with much better results than Dr. Frankenstein.) When he made his first appearance at the Greensboro 4th of July parade it was a special day for Amy. "I remember the first kid who saw him" she recalled. "I literally had tears in my eyes, it was priceless"
Since the 4th of July Bo has been seen at Winston-Salem Dash games, Breakfast at Wimbledon, and even made an appearance on a local news station. Even the "Where's Bo?" segment on Facebook has been a fan favorite. Whatever the occasion, Bo has been a popular guy.
Bo doesn't just enhance our community events. When the tournament starts next month, he will provide a burst of energy. Outside of featured players, Bo might be the most recognizable figure at the tournament. According to Amy, he will be involved with a lot of the operations and on court activities.
Believe it or not we even had a chance to sit down with Bo for a short Q&A. He had plenty to say
Q:  Bo, you seem like a fun loving guy, what makes you unique from other mascots?
A:  Well being a walking ball is pretty unique. But there are some other bizarre mascots out there. We are all unique by virtue of being a walking, dancing tennis ball in my case, or a big fluffy green guy like the Philly Phanatic.
Q:  Do you ever hang out with other mascots?

A: I met the Demon Deacon before. He's pretty cool, we may have to play a game of tennis or something.
Q:  Each mascot has it's own personality, how would you describe yours?
A:  Bubbly, loving, energetic, jolly or any similar adjective works. I just love having fun.
Q:  How much have you enjoyed your public appearances so far?
A:  A lot! Everyone we've met has been cool, and the events has been great.
Q:  How do you think you will enhance this year's tournament?
A:  Amy said the event was great last year. Being that I wasn't born then I didn't get to go, but I hope to improve what is already a great event by adding a personal touch and some extra energy.
Q:  People know you now. How does it feel to be a local celebrity?

A: It's fun, people at the Dash game really liked me which was cool. I fully expect to be booked on Leno or Conan after the tournament.
Q:  Some mascots have female counterparts. Will we get to meet your girlfriend next year?
A:  I don't know. I'll have to let Amy play matchmaker for me. She's got my back so I feel good about that.
Q:  Any final words for your fans out there?

A:  Come out and enjoy the tournament starting August 18th and please, be gentle when you squeak my nose!

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