Sooner fans will be closely watching Oklahoma's basketball team as they try to make a deep run in the postseason. But it's not just Oklahomans who are being kept informed of OU's road to the Final Four. A television crew from the Bahamas is following the team and reporting on the exploits of Sooner star Buddy Hield, whose become a national celebrity in his home country.
"Right now Buddy has more popularity than the prime minister of the country. All the young kids are looking up to Buddy. If you understand, Buddy came from an environment in Eight Mile Rock where there's not much people. So for him to rise to this level right now, everybody's talking about him, everybody wants to be like him. My 15 year-old daughter said Daddy make sure Buddy says hi to me. Sign this autograph, someone said make sure he sends out a shoutout, make sure he does this. He has really lifted the country right now. Like I said, he's more popular than the prime minister."
Buddy has become the player every Big 12 coach wishes he had on his team. Buddy He's become one of the most popular athletes OU has ever had, but in his home country of the Bahamas, he's even more than that. Back home, even the biggest stars in the NBA can't compare to the love they have for Buddy.
"Nobody wants to be like Jordan. Nobody wants to be like LeBron. Nobody wants to e like Steph. Everybody wants to be the next Buddy Hield. And that's great for the country, with so many youngsters over there."
"They know how hard I work. I've been a little boy from then growing up. They got to see me grow and become a man and fulfill my dreams. Everybody is just happy for me. I'm just trying to make them proud and make my family proud too."
Buddy's success has turned an entire city in the Bahamas into sooner fans, and the night Hield had 46 points against Kansas in Lawrence, everything stopped in Freeport.
"People in Freeport they're going crazy. That night when they played Kansas, nobody was on the street. Everybody was watching that game. And then the next morning, the top story on the news was Buddy. It ran above the politics, it ran above anything that's happening in the country. And now that we're down here, everybody wants to know what's happening with Buddy."
Buddy has never forgotten where he comes from, and is always quick with a comment about his home country or hometown of Freeport. The tv crew from the Bahamas will follow the Sooners as long as they play in the postseason, and Buddy is happy to oblige with whatever they need.
"I know everybody back home is paying attention to what I'm doing and I've known these guys even when I was little. From basketball tournaments I'd see Mr. Fisher and his crew always watching basketball. And now to have one of the players from one of those tournaments and now they're following me, it means a lot not for me, but for the people back home in the Bahamas to know that one of their own is doing good, fulfilling his dream and making them proud and being a role model for everyone back home."
"He always gives a shoutout to the people back home in the Bahamas. That's what they like about it. So everybody is just talking about Buddy. If you go home now and you're from Oklahoma, they're not going to ask about Blake Griffin or the snow. They're going to ask how is Buddy. Are you treating our boy Buddy right.
Right now Buddy is doing just fine, and he's got two nations fully behind him, the Bahamas and Sooner Nation.
Brian Brinkley, News Channel 4 sports.