Zach Curry saw the video when he was lying in bed recovering from a hernia surgery that has sidelined him for most of his first season with Ohio.
The clip came from Bobcat Barstool with the caption, “Stay away from our boys. On and off the ice.”
In the video, posted on Jan. 7, Curry is seen in the Bird Arena locker room spinning a pair of nunchucks around his body while several of his teammates watched Curry in awe.
“We were just messing around one day, and I was like, ‘Look what I’ve got in here,’ and I whipped the nunchucks out,” Curry said. “It gave the boys a good laugh.”
Curry’s nunchuck talents have become a running joke in Ohio’s locker room.
Curry, however, wasn’t worried about the jokes.
“They make fun of me for it,“ Curry said, “but I think they’re all jealous.”
As of Jan. 29, the video has garnered over 16,000 views and was the second-most viewed video on the page for January. Curry was shocked that the video had garnered so much attention but said he felt honored to have made it onto Barstool.
Despite the video’s popularity, there was one important group that didn’t know about Curry’s ninja-like abilities: his family.
Over the winter break, Curry showed his family the Instagram video, finally enlightening his family to his secret talent. The Olathe, Kansas, native figured it was a better time to show them while he was home instead of at college.
“They were a little confused to say the least,” Curry said with a smile. “They hadn’t known until the video.”
Curry has shielded his nunchucks talents for years.
The freshman forward has had the nunchucks for over three years. He received them as a gift from Eric Hofmann, his former assistant coach for the Rochester Ice Hawks in Rochester, Minnesota.
For the first three weeks of Curry’s first season at Rochester, Hofmann was evaluating him to see how his play could be improved. Hofmann valued physicality in his players, so when the assistant coach finally came to him, he told Curry that he lacked arm strength.
Specifically, his forearms were too small.
“He took (the nunchucks) out and said, ‘Here, these are mine,’ and gave them to me,” Curry said.
During his time with the Ice Hawks, Curry had plenty of down time to hone his nunchucks craft. He practiced four or five days a week with whatever time he had by whipping the nunchucks to knock over soda cans.
Hofmann had originally only lended Curry the nunchucks and had expected them to be given back by season’s end. But seeing how well the forward had taken to his new hobby, Hofmann decided to pass them on.
Curry has kept them in his hockey bag ever since.
Even at Ohio, he still maintains a semi-regular schedule. Curry has played in three games for Ohio this season, and the nunchucks have helped him maintain his forearm strength. He practices in his dorm room or wherever he can find space to move freely.
He never expected his talents to be shown in a viral video, but with his extended recover from surgery, he has plenty of time to continue his off-ice passion.