A French basketball player named Steeve Ho You Fat has gone viral on American social media after users took notice of his surname during a game in Las Vegas last week.
Ho You Fat, 34, has reportedly played professionally since 2008, but the internet only recently began to rapidly share images of his jersey as a Metropolitans 92 power forward.
The Metropolitans, a club in the LNB Pro A, France’s top basketball league, were up against the G League Ignite for the first of two exhibitions on ESPN on Oct. 4 when he was discovered by the internet. While the game was billed as a showdown between Scoot Henderson and Victor Wembanyama, it was Ho You Fat who turned people’s heads as soon as he stepped out onto the court.
“I predict the Ho You Fat basketball jersey, will be the highest selling jersey of all time,” Twitter user @DarkNookShop wrote.
Ho You Fat was born in Cayenne to his father of Chinese descent, and his mother, an African dance teacher. He got his surname from his Chinese grandfather, who immigrated to French Guiana and built a successful logistics business.
Speaking to Yahoo Sports after the game, Ho You Fat expressed pride in his surname.
“Chinese people don’t like to mix [marriages]. I’m Black, it’s a Chinese name, so it’s not easy to talk about that,” he told the outlet. “But that’s it. I’m proud of my name, I’m proud of who I am. I’m proud of my dad and my mom.”
As it turns out, many Asian Americans are just as proud as the 14-season veteran, who has begun to amass U.S. fans.
“Speaking of Asian basketball players, here is one of my new favorites,” actor Daniel Wu declared on Instagram Thursday. “I thought it was a joke like Ron Artest changing his name to Meta World Peace, but it’s actually his real name. It’s really funny when announcers call out his name. Reminds me of a bar I used to go to in Portland called Hung Far Lo.”
“We need Ho You Fat in the @NBA,” SoleSavy Director of Video Tony Mui tweeted. “Jersey sales will be through the roof!”
“Steeve Ho You Fat’s grandfather was Chinese and he’s my new favorite basketball player,” comic book writer-artist and filmmaker Howard M. Shum tweeted.
Ho You Fat is in his second season with the Metropolitans. So far, he has averaged 2.7 points per game.