Typically, middle school-aged kids who attend Bergen Catholic summer basketball camp are half asleep at 9 a.m. on the first Monday morning.
But one of the kids flew in drills with such intensity that an assistant immediately told Billy Armstrong, the head coach, to pay attention.
“We do these serious workouts in the morning and he’s in the corner of the gym doing the exercises like absolutely crazy, going 100mph,” Armstrong told USA TODAY Sports by phone. “So he stood out from the start.”
Years later, this player is still notable.
Peter and his “folk hero” Doug Edert, the mustachioed shooter who helped propel the No. 15-ranked Peacock in Cinderella’s race to the men’s Sweet 16 against Purdue on Friday.
Edert’s father, Bill, says ‘Statch’ will remain as long as St. Peter wins.
“They call James Harden ‘the beard,'” Bill Edert told USA TODAY Sports. ‘Now, Doug is the ‘mustache.’
He started hearing comments. Looks like he’s a porn star in the 70’s. …it’s always been a little weird this way. Now he’s – he’s this mustachioed folk hero.”
Doug Idirt “The Physical Symbol” of Courage
As reported on a CBS broadcast during St. Peter’s first-round match at Kentucky No. 2, the mustache developed mid-season. The Peacock went 27 days during December and January without playing a game due to the coronavirus. They wouldn’t take any chances as a potential NCAA Tour Championship round approached, so point guard Matthew Lee became the team’s de facto barber.
After grooming Edert, a decision was made to leave the mustache. Bill Edert said he stayed there for about two months.
“(His mother) doesn’t mind it. It’s about it in the sense that it’s him now,” Bill Edert said.
The Nutley, New Jersey, native has tapped into his look at name, image, and similarity deals. He has a sponsorship on social media with Buffalo Wild Wings. Barstool Sports has launched a “Dougie Buckets” clothing line that shows a picture of his tongue bobbing under the moustache, which has become Team Peacock Twitter Account Banner Photo.
At Bergen Catholic School, where Edert scored 1,000 career points and won the 2019 Private Schools State Championship, school policy requires students to be clean skinned. While Edert’s coarse hair has remained the same, Armstrong said he believes “that” the worm is a physical symbol. “Doug has built this real confidence because of the hours he’s spent training and doing the training.”
Edert relied on that self-confidence against Kentucky. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound goalkeeper put in 20 points in 25 minutes and equalized or given his team the lead four times between the final minutes of regulation and overtime last Thursday. It wasn’t all that different from the Metro Atlantic Athletic’s championship game against Monmouth, when Edert scored a key three-pointer in the last minute and finished off with 20 points from the bench.
Two nights after beating Kentucky, St. Peter knocked out Murray State to advance to Sweet 16 in Philadelphia, just a short drive from the Jersey City school campus.
“I have guys from New Jersey and New York City,” St Peter coach Shaheen Holloway said in a recent interview. “Do you think we are afraid of anything?”
This week, Saint Peter baseball coach Lou Proietti snapped a photo of Eedert shooting with an assistant at 7 a.m. before hoisting the team up at 8 a.m.
“His level of intensity and work ethic are off the charts,” Armstrong said.
Edert’s grandparents, who also live in Notley, received an unexpected visitor this week – a kid brought by a T-shirt, asking if they could give it to Edert to autograph.
Doug asked his father to write down the request – he didn’t want it to slip through the cracks after the dust from the madness had subsided.
“It just shows you his personality,” Bill Edert said.
All it took was one week on the big stage – and a few inches of facial hair – for everyone to find out.
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