Right before the end of the first half of the men’s basketball team, Weber State University’s Jerrick Harding became the school’s all-time scoring leader with a pull-up jumper against Sacramento State in the Dee Events Center on Feb. 6.
However, the loudest cheers of the night came during the halftime show.
Rong Niu, better known by her performing name “Red Panda,” entered the basketball court with with a 10-foot-tall folding ladder, a 9-foot-tall unicycle and 15 white bowls.
With the assistance of one of the WSU cheer squad members, Niu unfolded the ladder, ascended and mounted the unicycle with the appearance of effortless grace.
She wheeled herself to both ends of the basketball court to salute the crowd, generating hype with her mastery of the unicycle.
After she wheeled to the center of the court, her presentation music filled the venue and her WSU cheer assistant began to toss her the bowls, one at a time, while she pedaled the unicycle in small back-and-forth movements to stay upright and in the same spot.
As if this feat was not impressive enough, she took the first bowl and balanced it, bowl facing up, on the top of her head.
Then, her show began in earnest.
She caught another bowl, thrown by her assistant, and she extended her right leg, all the while balancing on the unicycle with her left leg, and placed the bowl on her right shin, using only her right foot and balance as a support.
She kicked her right leg upwards, tossing the bowl perfectly into the receiving bowl that rested on top of her head.
One bowl turned to two. Two bowls turned to three. Three bowls turned to four. The audience waited quietly, as if holding their breath, between each “round” of bowls. Their cheers grew louder with each successful “toss-and-catch” Niu completed.
Niu’s performance culminated with her placing five bowls on her shin, tossing them into the air, and catching all five into the neat stack on her head. In total, she had stacked the 15 bowls on her head, by tossing them with her right leg, while balancing on that 9-foot-tall unicycle.
Niu has performed this routine for several years at college campuses and NBA arenas across the United States.
The Destruction, the WSU student section, chanted “Red Panda” as Niu triumphantly left the court.