At 6 feet 6 inches tall, D.J. McCall towers over the average human. His height gives him an advantage on the basketball court. The junior is a guard and regular starter on the IUPUI men’s basketball team.
Though basketball season has come to an end, McCall is still in the public eye at all times. He stands tall over the entirety of Indianapolis, his face displayed on various billboards thanks to an invitation to participate in the ROAR advertising campaign at IUPUI.
Brand recognition has been an ongoing issue for the Jaguars. Different slogans and marketing campaigns have come and gone, none of which had any longevity. The athletics program developed ROAR as the uniform solution and would feature their most prominent athletes as the face of the movement.
McCall was an obvious choice to advertise, his talents stretch beyond the court. He was named to the Academic All-Horizon League team this season, as well as the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll. On the court, he averaged 7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game and led the team in steals.
“I would say I wasn’t overly surprised to be asked to do the photoshoot just because I was one of our team’s older returning guys,” McCall said. “But I was very surprised where those pictures ended up. Before one of the shots, a lady told me ‘You might see yourself on a bus.’ I thought she was completely joking. I didn’t think I’d actually end up on the side of a bus.”
The busses, billboards, and benches that bear his image have been displayed for months in the Indianapolis area. For most collegiate athletes, notoriety in a city as large as Indianapolis would be strange, but McCall is used to this.
A standout at Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne, McCall has been a prominent figure in his community since his prep days. Concordia Lutheran still runs advertisements boasting about how their former star is now a division one athlete. Longstanding attention could easily go to an athlete’s head. McCall takes a much humbler approach to the attention.
“It’s a great honor to be involved with the advertisements,” McCall said. “Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Concordia, and IUPUI make up the man who I am today. If there are opportunities like this where I can give back, I always try to hop on them if my schedule allows me. But these opportunities are only possible because of the amazing people in my corner like my family, friends, coaches, teachers, and teammates over the years.”
Simply put, McCall is enjoying the ride. He is playing the sport he loves in a city that loves him back. Billboards and busses are impressive souvenirs to take away from what has already been a successful career.
“Hopefully one day I can show my kids and grandkids the pictures for when they don’t believe their old man played some college basketball back in his day.”