If Isaiah Mustafa ever grows tired of being a commercial pitchman, Old Spice should consider a UC Santa Barbara basketball player as a replacement.
Meet backup guard Justin Joyner, a senior whose impersonation skills are as polished as his jump shot. Asked by UCSB athletic officials to participate in a spoof of the famous Old Spice commercials, Joyner nailed his imitation of Mustafa despite minimal advance notice or practice time.
"The athletic department said they wanted to do a spoof on it and they said I'd be the perfect guy for it," Joyner said. "I was on board immediately, so I went ahead and did it. It seemed like a fun thing and also something to hopefully spark excitement over UCSB basketball."
Believe it or not, the hardest part for Joyner was not pulling off the accent but learning the lines on short notice. UCSB had just finished finals and a key road trip, so Joyner didn't have time to memorize his lines in advance and had to do it on the set with a handful of extras and athletic department staffers waiting on him.
UCSB began the season as favorites to repeat as Big West champs, but the Gauchos have hit a rough patch at the start of league play, dropping a home game against Long Beach State and a road game at Pacific. Joyner hopes the video will help persuade fans to forget those losses and come out to the Thunderdome for games against UC Irvine and UC Riverside this week.
"It's a big deal for us to have fans come out," Joyner said. "It's really a tough place for opponents to play when we have a good crowd. Especially when the students come out, we really do feed off that."
- Isaiah Mustafa