UCF Police Evacuate Building After Student Mimicked LeBron James' Powder Toss

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2018

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 13:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers throws powder into the air before the start of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 13, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A building on the campus of the University of Central Florida was evacuated Wednesday after a student mimicked Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James' pregame ritual of tossing chalk in the air.

According to A.J. Perez of USA TodayUCF Police Department chief Richard Beary explained the decision to evacuate: "We think it was some kind of stunt ... but unfortunately with the current threat situation the way it is, our fire partners are treating it as a hazmat situation. We are in the process of doing that."

The UCF Police Department later confirmed on Twitter that the powder used in the stunt was baby formula.

The police department also tweeted that the student was wearing a white Miami Heat jersey with James' name on the back at the time:

UCF Police Dept. @UCFPolice

Witnesses say the suspect is wearing this jersey. He is described as a 6'2, white male with blonde hair. Please call 911 if spotted. https://t.co/G5UCa4bXKt

A witness told Adrienne Cutway of News 6 in Orlando, Florida, the man yelled, "I'm taking my talents elsewhere. I'm going to Miami," while throwing the powder.

That was a play on James famously saying in 2010 that he was "taking [his] talents to South Beach" upon deciding to leave Cleveland for Miami in free agency.

As of Wednesday, campus police were still searching for the student.

After tossing chalk at the scorer's table for the first several years of his career, James ceased doing it in 2014 upon returning to Cleveland in free agency.

James won a pair of championships during his four-year stint in Miami. Since returning to the Cavaliers, he has reached three NBA Finals and helped the Cavs win their first-ever championship in 2016.


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