'Bango is the official mascot of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, presently performed by Kevin Vanderkolk. The word "Bango" was originally coined by Eddie Doucette, the longtime play-by-play announcer for the Bucks. Doucette used the word whenever a Bucks player connected on a long-range basket. It was often used for sharpshooter Jon McGlocklin. When it came time for the Bucks to choose a name for their new mascot, the name "Bango" won the contest.
Bango has been the Bucks' official mascot for over 37 years. He made his official debut on October 18, 1977, which was Milwaukee's home opener of the 1977-78 NBA season. In addition to the date being Bango's home debut, the game itself pitted Milwaukee against former Bucks center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his Los Angeles Lakers at the Milwaukee Arena. Bango has worked hard to become popular with Bucks fans all throughout the state of Wisconsin over the years, appearing at schools, parades, and festivals as a goodwill ambassador for the team. His high-flying acrobatic layups, daring rebounds, and other entertaining antics still play an important role in energizing Bucks fans at the Bradley Center. Since 2001, Bango has also made perennial appearances at the NBA All-Star Game.
At the 2009 All-Star Weekend in Phoenix, Arizona, Bango suffered an injury during a mascot-participative skit. While standing on one basket's rim, Bango's right leg slipped through the hoop, and he fell on the rim. He then slipped further and fell through the basket entirely. Bango tore his ACL due to the fall and was unable to perform for the remainder of the 2008–09 season, periodically making appearances at games in a wheelchair. A video of Bango's injury at the 2009 Mascot Challenge was uploaded onto YouTube shortly after the incident occurred.
During game four of the 2009–10 first-round playoff series between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks, Bango successfully performed a back-flip dunk from the top of a 16-foot ladder, a feat similar to the Seattle SuperSonics' mascot Squatch's feat during a March 19, 2008, game between the SuperSonics and the Phoenix Suns.