‘Bango is the official mascot of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, presently dressed as and performed by Kevin Vanderkolk. Since 1977, the Bucks’ mascot “Bango” has delighted the team’s supporters with his daring acrobatics, high-flying dunks, and humorous antics. When Bango is not circling the Fiserv Forum, he is busy making more than 250 appearances annually in Milwaukee.
The honor of being chosen as the first “Most Awesome Mascot” by Cartoon Network belongs to Bango, a previous NBA mascot of the year. He also appeared in the original documentary series Behind the Mask on Hulu.
The story behind the origin of Bango
Bango has likely been the Bucks’ most reliable player over the course of his stint with the team, despite going through numerous makeovers and different iterations. Actually, the only person who could legitimately challenge Bango in such stakes would be Jon McGlocklin.
Bango was born on October 18, 1977, the date of the Bucks’ season-opening home game versus former fan favorite Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Bucks.com. There was also no genuine risk of a deer rejecting Wisconsin for another city based on cultural compatibility, so Kareem couldn’t have been replaced with anything better. The remark that was frequently evoked by renowned commentator Eddie Doucette whenever a Milwaukee player—often Jonny Mac—would make a jump jumper is how the Bucks’ mascot got his name.
When a player made a long-range basket, Eddie Doucette, the first “Voice of the Bucks,” would use the term “bango.” A few thousand responses were submitted when the club conducted a contest to name their new mascot, and “Bango” was by far the most popular choice.
Bango and the Tragedies
Bango has experienced a lot throughout the years. He acquired his first vehicle in 1984, got hitched in 2002, and then Bango Jr. showed up three years later, according to the Bucks’ official website. The relationships that were forged along the way, however, are not mentioned in any of that. With former Buck Brandon Jennings, Bango developed a special bond. Along with Jon Barry and the late Stuart Scott, the pair even worked on an ESPN advertisement in 2011.