It's no secret that University of Miami men's basketball coach Jim Larranaga has a rather zen outlook on life and basketball. He schools his team on the teachings of Deepak Chopra. Yet, we couldn't have imagined that the team's success in knocking off highly ranked programs this year could be thanks to zen butterfly rituals.
Butterfly releases are used to mark a transitional time in ones life, and are often used for graduations, birthday parties, weddings, and funerals. Yet Larranaga has decided to try it out for good luck in sports as well.
Earlier this season, shortly before the team beat the then 8th-ranked Florida Gators, he ordered 30 butterflies, lead his team up to the roof of the Bank United Center, and had the team release them into the sky. Naturally the butterflies were orange and black, which are sort of Hurricanes colors.
According to the Miami Herald, Larranaga had tried the ceremony once before back in 2004 when he was coaching at George Mason University. A year later the team reached the Final Four.
Unfortunately, after the win against Florida the team ran into a rut and suffered losses to unranked teams, but the squad is back on track after knocking off 4th-ranked Duke earlier this week.
"It was definitely a different experience, kind of a random thing to do. But I think it was great. I think everybody enjoyed it, and you know, every person believes in different things, whatever he believes in, I'm going to buy into it," star player Angel Rodriguez told The Herald. "You want to keep your coach happy, and as long as we keep winning, the butterflies are going to make him feel good."