Illustrated by Rosenthal
|No. 23 – Free Agent|
|Species||Squirrel ( Sciuridae )|
|Listed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Listed weight||205 lb (93 kg)|
|FBA draft||2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Huntsville Mayors|
|Pro playing career||2004–present|
|Career highlights and awards|
|(OOC) Creator||Buck Hopper|
|(OOC) Actor||N/A (up for adoption)|
|(OOC) Usage||Ask me before any use|
Xavier Knutten is a male squirrel swingfur currently playing for the Tennessee Moonshiners. He has been a League MVP in 2008, an All-Star MVP in 2014 and a Finals MVP in 2009 when he led the Huntsville Mayors to their first championship since the Healey Davis era.
Born in Austin, Texas, to a financial adviser father and a homemaker mother, there is very little about Knutten's childhood that is remarkable. With a bustling squirrel population, it's likely young Xavier would never be noticed in the crowd had it not been for having a maternal grandfather living well outside the city on a black walnut orchard in far East Texas.
Being one of eight children, all the Knuttens would spend summers with their grandfather on the walnut orchard, helping to pick and collect the nuts. The job involved carrying a bucket and picking the fallen walnuts off the ground, scouring slowly over the massive orchard, but young Xavier hated carrying the bucket. Instead, he started hanging the bucket from a sturdy branch, and then throwing the nuts into it from all around, only then pulling down the bucket to empty and move on. He spent years doing this from when he was young, to the point that he could reportedly throw a nut into the bucket from over 10 years away reliably.
High School and College
Noticing this unique skill, his parents started taking him to basketball classes before his began high school. The coach was immediately impressed by his stellar aim and focus and prepared Xavier for a budding basketball career. In high school, the squirrel learned the basics of ball movement and isolation play, of teamwork and floor vision. Many of his old childhood skills came to the fore, fueling his success at the sport. By graduation, multiple schools had heard of the young squirrel phenom out of Texas, and he was actively recruited by multiple universities.
The 2004 FBA Draft
An incredible college run made the FBA salivate for his arrival, with Knutten submitting his name into the 2004 FBA Draft. It was unprecedented for a prey species to be so actively recruited, and he made history when he became the first prey to be selected #1 overall. He did not disappoint the Huntsville Mayors who were rewarded with a focused, athletic young baller with incredible skills and phenomenal aim. However the league was unimpressed by his acidic personality, stiff in front of the cameras and crude away from them. While some wondered why the FBA seemed more interested in promoting another prey species Buck Hopper over the more talented Knutten, those who knew understood that the squirrel was simply harder to work with.
Personality aside, Knutten changed the league. He gave the Mayors their first championship since the Healey Davis era when he helped them defeat the Stanislaus Thrust by a single bucket in Game 7. After a painful slump following their victory, the squirrel demanded to be traded and was granted his wish with a move to the Western Conference, joining the Spokane Rapids in a blockbuster trade in 2011.
With the Rapids, he improved the team, though never enough to go very deep in the playoffs. His biggest moment came in his final year with the club when he led the #8 seeded Rapids to a stunning upset of the #1 seeded Winnipeg Voyageurs to move on to the second round of the 2014 FBA Playoffs. After that season ended, the Rapids announced a relocation of the team to become the Seattle Summit, but chose not to take Zipper with them, sending the squirrel to the Albany Alphas and back into the Eastern Conference for a high draft pick. He will start the 2014-2015 season with the Alphas, playing alongside another FBA phenom, Rodger Umaechi.
Zipper has a natural quickness to him, liking to zig-zag and move quickly around the court. While his shooting is his deadliest weapon, he is also well known for attacking the rim with powerful dunks, taking advantage of exceptional jumping ability. His most famous dunks are 360 spins, often wrapping his bushy tail around his body as he moves.
As a personal ceremony, Zip-Nut eats a black walnut before every game, leaving the husk on the team refreshment table. He's done this since his first match in the FBA, telling reporters it's an homage to his grandfather's walnut orchard where he first learned the skills to his game.
2013 - 2014 Regular Season Stats
2014 - 2015 Regular Season Stats
2015 - 2016 Regular Season Stats
2016 - 2017 Regular Season Stats