The 20-year-old Fordham shortstop flipped over the opposing team’s catcher during a college baseball game, helped win the game and became an Internet sensation, all in a matter of seconds.
Fordham University was playing Iona College on April 20 when the sophomore shortstop did what can best be described as a circus tumble.
"I was 5 feet away and saw the catcher blocking any path that I could slide on, and my first instinct was to jump over him and that’s what I did,” Kownacki told NBCNewYork.
After the play, his teammates raced out to the field to greet him and celebrate.
It was an amazing end to what started out as a rough night for the local player who had actually been hit with pitches earlier in the game.
In less than 48 hours, multiple YouTube videos have been posted showing the amazing play and someone created the “Brian Kownacki can fly” Facebook page.
The 2008 graduate of Amity Regional even captured the attention of the Harlem Globe Trotters, who honored him with a “Trotter Tribute,” something bestowed on professional and college athletes whose play “calls to mind the dazzling showmanship of ‘the world’s most famous team.’”
The move seemingly came out of nowhere for an athlete with no acrobatic experience, but his girlfriend, who was watching from the stands, is taking credit. She has cheerleading experience, Kownacki said.
But Kownacki’s girlfriend wasn’t the only loved one watching from the stands.
Dad was there too. If he has anything to do with it, Kownacki will score his next run in the more traditional way of running or sliding over home plate.
“My dad said, ‘that’s a very nice play but it could be very dangerous, so don’t try it again,” Kownacki said.
But, for now, he’s just enjoying some attention for an unusual game-winning play.
“It’s a lot of fun. I am really enjoying this, my 15 minutes of fame,” he said.