Certain visual images are made to be memes. This still shot from an Illinois basketball game is absolutely one of them.
You’re looking at Walker Stillman, a 5-foot-11 guard for the Champaign varsity basketball team, as captured by photographer Liz Brunson. During his squad’s recent face off against Danville, Stillman found himself on the edge of the key in the post when two teammates were crashing the hoop for a basket and potential rebound in front of a Danville defender.
In theory, Walker should have been right behind them, or at least leaning in to the action as he leapt into the air. Instead, he seemed to elevate directly up, as if he wanted a direct sight line to the action.
That made for one of the more unique images of the season thus far, not to mention Stillman’s still young career. The video below dispels any concept that Stillman wasn’t in on the action; it appears that he was positioned to make sure that the right side of the court was boxed out, and the shot captured a moment as he came back down in repose.
Here’s how Stillman described the moment captured in time himself when asked by the Champaign Urbana News Gazette:
“Most the people I’ve heard from ask me ‘What were you doing? “ he said. “I had jumped for a rebound and saw that it wasn’t coming my way so I kind of stopped what I was doing.”
The junior is known more for his time leading the Champaign football team as its quarterback, but after his game against Danville the image of his prep athletic career to linger in the public memory is almost certain to be from a basketball game.