Cactus Sports owner Troy Scoma was in awe when he saw math and computer science senior Obafemi Oso on television rooting for ASU in the UA student section during the Territorial Cup game on Friday.
Just a couple of days later, Scoma reached out to Oso and offered him an opportunity of a lifetime — a fundraiser to help cover Oso’s trip to ASU’s bowl game this December.
“My first reaction was like, ‘Wow, thank you, Jesus,’” Oso said.
Scoma belongs to an ASU football fan group on Facebook, and when a screenshot of Oso celebrating in the UA student section went viral, one member suggested that the fan base should help Oso attend whichever bowl game the Sun Devils will play in. As an owner of an ASU apparel store, Scoma felt he needed to take action.
“As soon as I saw that, I’m like, ‘You’re absolutely right, we totally should,’” Scoma said. “I would love to (be the) head of getting him there.”
Scoma then took to Facebook on Monday through the Cactus Sports page and asked the store’s 2,732 fans for donations towards Oso’s airline ticket, along with miscellaneous ASU gear. The fundraiser became a hit among the fans and Cactus Sports is on track to fund Oso’s trip.
Scoma said the store raised $240 just minutes after the Facebook post was published. He also added ASU Marketing has contacted Cactus Sports to help out with the fundraiser.
As of Wednesday, Scoma said he has raised approximately $500, which is enough to cover Oso’s plane ticket. Any further donations will go towards Oso’s game ticket, hotel room, transportation and other expenses.
“Everybody’s behind it,” Scoma said. “From what it looks like, he won’t be staying at a Motel 6.”
Oso is widely recognized by ASU fans for his tall, black flattop while sitting in the front row at every football game in Sun Devil Stadium, but gained a lot more attention when national television cameras caught Oso at the ASU-UA game.
Oso was shirtless and sported a hand-painted pitchfork on his body, and he was seen cheering for ASU while surrounded by fans in red shirts. He said he wanted to sit in the “Zona Zoo” strictly to experience what is it like to sit in a completely different atmosphere.
“I was completely caught off-guard by how many people saw it,” Oso said. “They were celebrating with me, just sending me congratulatory messages and like, ‘Hey, I saw you on TV man. That’s awesome.’ I didn’t even know what to think.”
Scoma said he’s helped out many random ASU fans before, but he gives much respect to Oso for his dedication. Scoma has noticed the student sitting in the same seat for the past four years and never saw him leaving games early.
“To me, that’s pure dedication,” Scoma said. “As I spoke to other fans, they said, ‘We need more fans like him.’”
ASU will find out what bowl game it will be participating in by Sunday, at the latest, but the likely destinations are between the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco, the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque, N.M. and the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. Oso plans to be as emotional as he typically is at Sun Devil Stadium, and even Arizona Stadium.
“It’s never really about me being on the jumbotron, or me being on TV,” Oso said. “It’s more about me having a good time and supporting my team. I want my homies on the field to know that, ‘Hey, Oso’s got your back. I’m supporting you guys no matter what.’”
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