NIU soliciting donations for statue depicting former husky mascot high-fiving

Diesel was very good at high-fives.

Is there a better way to honor a dog mascot than with a statue of the dog giving a high-five?

Northern Illinois will unveil a statue outside its stadium this fall that depicts former mascot Diesel the husky. Diesel, who died in 2015, became quite the beloved figure when he was filmed giving a cheerleader a high-five during a game in 2013.

That same scene will be replicated in the statue, which donors say will be a tribute to the school’s tradition of live husky mascots.

Per the Chicago Tribune, a fund to pay for the statue has raised $11,000 of the $25,000 needed and the statue is currently being cast.

Diesel’s owner, Tom Bonnevier, is among the group of NIU alumni who put together the Diesel Memorial Project which is raising the money for the Project. Tom describes the purpose of the project, “Diesel and our other Huskie mascots have done so much to lift the spirits and enjoyment of games for Huskie fans. We felt the statue would be a fitting tribute to our mascots’ contributions.”

Diesel, the team’s mascot for nine years, retired at the end of the 2013 season. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in August 2015 and went to NIU’s win over UNLV a few weeks later the day before he died.

Upon his retirement, Diesel was replaced by Mission, who is also a very good dog.


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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!