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Osprey championship merch selling fast

UNF alumnus, entrepreneur rushes to fill need for T-shirts

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The sudden popularity of UNF basketball merchandise has made T-shirts hard to find, even on campus. So a 1993 graduate and entrepreneur is rushing to fill the need for merchandise before the team's first game in the big dance.

On the heels of the UNF Ospreys' historic A-Sun win and expected first-ever invitation to the the NCAA tournament this month, UNF's bookstore was having trouble keeping Ospreys basketball items in stock. A delivery on Tuesday sold out in 15 minutes. A second delivery is expected late Wednesday morning. 

The atmosphere on the University of North Florida campus was still electric on Tuesday in the aftermath of the basketball team's historic victory.

News4Jax talked to some students who said they were happy for their team.

"It's been really exciting and everyone is really stoked about going out to the game," said Gianna Fimiano.

"Everybody's really excited and proud of them that they won and everybody's really happy for the coach and all the boys on the team," Daphney Torres said.

Local retailer Sports Mania was only selling UNF house flags. Stores like Dick's Sporting Goods and Academy Sports said they didn't sell Osprey gear. UNF said some Target and Walmart stores have a couple of items.

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So the morning after the team won the conference championship, 1993 UNF graduate David Whitlock and his new media company, Principle Design Group, launched SwoopTshirts.com, offering some of the hottest unofficial Osprey merchandise that die-hard alums can now order.

Whitlock said demand has been tremendous.

"We've been amazed at the demand," Whitlock said. "It seems we were just in the right place at the right time."

Online orders placed by midnight Thursday will filled with shirts delivered before UNF's first March Madness game on Tuesday.