‘Hawaiian shirt guy,’ ‘Incredibly loud guy,’ light up crowd at Texas basketball games

Ethan Ferguson, Senior Sports Reporter

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the Jan. 28, 2022 flipbook.

Jonathan Stewart and Mumin Ahmed lived a block away from each other in Round Rock, Texas, since they were about 10 years old. They’ve gone to the same middle school, high school and college — both juniors and roommates at the University of Texas.

Although they grew up together with a passion for anything sports-related, they developed other interests at college. Stewart majors in supply chain management, Ahmed in biology.     

Stewart was born and raised into a Longhorn family, and his devotion influenced Ahmed’s love for the burnt orange. 

“I really bought into Jonathan’s hype about Texas,” Ahmed said. 

This season, the Texas men’s basketball team played its first game in Gregory Gym since 1977, defeating Sam Houston State 73-57. It was at this game where Stewart was first noticed by head coach Chris Beard. 

Wearing a vibrant Hawaiian shirt, Stewart was standing underneath the hoop in perfect position for the cameras. After every make for the Longhorns, he would punch his fist in the air more vigorously than anyone else in the stands.

Following the game, the men’s basketball social media team went to Twitter in search of “Hawaiian shirt guy.”

Stewart was in class when the tweet was sent out. However, Ahmed was getting a haircut and immediately noticed his friend in the post.  

“I was just blowing up Jonathan’s phone,” Ahmed said. “‘You need to check Twitter, right now!’”

Stewart was shocked at first, thinking there was no way the tweet could be real. Stewart wore the Hawaiian shirt to Texas basketball games unaware that it would bring him all of the current. 

“Anytime I go to a basketball game wearing the Hawaiian shirt, people notice,” Stewart said. “People jokingly just call me ‘Hawaiian shirt guy’ now at work and random places.”

Shortly thereafter, Ahmed received notice that the men’s basketball team was looking for the “Incredibly Loud Guy” as well.

After being identified as the Texas superfans, Stewart and Ahmed received invitations from Beard to attend practices and meet the team. 

Stewart, having been noticed first, was granted the opportunity to attend a film breakdown with the Longhorns where Beard and the team critiqued his celebrations. 

“Beard gave me access to everything,” Stewart said. “I watched the full film breakdown of the Greg game sitting in the front row.” 

Ahmed recalled observing a practice from the top row of the Frank Erwin Center, memorizing plays as they were drawn up in front of him. 

“Watching the practices made me buy in even more,” Ahmed said.

Stewart will wear his Hawaiian shirt, even though he treats it like an ordinary shirt, to every Texas sporting event he goes to from here on out. Ahmed, prioritizing what is clean at the moment, said he’ll stick with the classic boots, jeans and a polo.  

Having only missed one game this season, their roles as superfans are to get their section in the stands up and into the game. They’ve been known to call out to other sections that aren’t hyped up enough, and the pair sprint-walks to their seats at the beginning of each game in hopes of being in the front row.

Fan engagement continues to be massively important to Beard. The first-year head coach makes sure to thank Texas students and fans for their support after each home game in his postgame remarks. The Texas men’s basketball team is now on the lookout for two more fans: Banana Suit Man and Spider-Man.

Stewart and Ahmed always had a passion for sports growing up together, but now they are forever connected through Texas basketball. 

“Now I can say I’m the biggest basketball fan I’ve ever been in my life,” Stewart said.