If you've had the chance to head to a Suns game, you've probably noticed another important character on the court beyond the athletes, coaches, referees, and cheerleaders.  This character is, of course, the Suns Gorilla.  While this larger-than-life animal is a bit goofy, it's an important part of the overall Suns experience, and the previous mascot has left some big shoes to fill.

The Phoenix Suns are a professional basketball team located right here in Phoenix and part of the Pacific Division within the Western Conference of the NBA.  Playing at US Airways Center every season, they entertain and reflect the local community's commitment to athletic excellence.  The Gorilla mascot, while not always intimidating in the traditional sense, is certainly the face of the team and the main part of pumping up the crowds during each game.  The official job posting states that the new Gorilla must:

"Be a world-class performer and ambassador for the Phoenix Suns organization both on the court and at appearances (charities, schools, hospitals, local businesses, etc.). Continue the great Gorilla "Go" tradition of making people smile, leaving them with long-lasting/positive memories, and representing the team with pride and passion. This is a full-time, salaried position reporting to our Vice President, Game Entertainment."

These are tall shoes to fill, and the Suns aren't taking this candidate search lightly.  Here are just a few of the job requirements:

  • 2 years of mascot experience (either collegiate or professional) required
  • College degree preferred
  • Extreme athletic fitness level
  • Able to withstand extreme heat conditions, restrictive outfits, and restricted vision

In addition to these prerequisites, anyone who comes on board as the new Gorilla is expected to be a Suns ambassador in other ways, including running a website and communicating with fans.  The next time you head to a Suns game, you may just have a little more appreciation for how hard our trusty Mascot works.

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