Get to know Seton Hall's 'Hammer of Dill'
Peter Dill vaulted into the national spotlight when his explosive bench celebrations were featured on a "SportsCenter" highlight. The Seton Hall senior dominated the recap of the Pirates' 66-50 win over then-No. 8 UConn on Jan. 3, his new moves pointed out by anchors Kevin Negandhi and Linda Cohn as every basket preceded a close-up of Dill going buck-wild on the sidelines.
Too bad Dill missed it. The guard was sleeping after a late practice.
"Early morning I was getting texts from my coaches, asking me questions about something, and I ignored it in my sleep," Dill said. "They told me to put on 'SportsCenter,' but I was so tired, I told them I'd check it out later."
When Dill finally flipped on his television, he caught the initial stages of a mini-mania surrounding his fist pumps, Aaron Rodgers belt celebration and "Thor's hammer" moves. The YouTube video of the "SportsCenter" segment has nearly 400,000 views, and a quick Google search for Peter Dill brings up headlines like "Seton Hall's Peter Dill Is The Best Benchwarmer in College Basketball."
It even spawned a fake Twitter account @HammerofDill -- Dill and his teammates have been trying, in vain, to figure out who's running it -- and "Hammer of Dill" T-shirts have surfaced, the proceeds of which are going to charity.
But for Dill -- a walk-on whose high school didn't even field a basketball team and who has tallied six career minutes for the Pirates -- all the attention was, well, as funny as his celebrations.
"It was a little bit surreal," said Dill, who grew up 45 minutes from Seton Hall and always dreamed of playing for the Pirates.
"SportsCenter's doing a whole thing about me, and here I am sitting in my underwear, watching it. Those moves are just kind of me, me exploding with excitement. I call it extemporaneous exhilaration. It's just being a fan, enjoying the game."
Dill brings back not-too-distant memories of college basketball's last noteworthy benchwarmer, Ohio State's Mark Titus. Titus, who ran the popular Club Trillion blog and now writes for ESPN's Grantland, has traded emails with Dill, chatting about the life of a walk-on and passing the veritable torch to Dill.
And with graduation around the corner, Dill, a philosophy major, doesn't have any immediate plans for post-college life, but said he would consider forming an alliance with Titus to handpick America's Next Walk-On.
Dill also declined to reveal any new celebrations he's been working on, but insisted that everything he's done -- especially the "Thor Hammer" -- is spontaneous.
"That's me, just being true to myself," Dill said. "That's why I have an awesome time, I love my friends on the team. I think of these silly things to get my teammates and the crowd going. It's tough, though. It's got to be quick. It's got to be a move."