Published on January 8th, 2014 | by Josh Hafner

Hamsters predict high school basketball games in Ankeny

BREAKING: Pinky, one of two hamsters predicting Ankeny Christian Academy basketball games, has died. Read on for updates below.

It started with an ad on a high school basketball program.

Slash/Web Studios, the Ankeny web development company, paid to put its logo and phone number on the back of the roster sheets at Ankeny Christian Academy basketball games. But that just wasn’t quite enough for Slash/Web, a quirky workplace that issues new employees Nerf guns to defend themselves.

“We said we’ve got to do more than a logo and a program,” said Greg Crown, the company’s COO.

A bit of team brainstorming resulted in “Hamster Madness,” the idea for a web video series in which two hamsters in a miniature basketball court — one end bearing with ACA’s logo, one with their opponent that week — slide into a hole on the end they “predict” will win.

The Slash/Web team bought two hamsters — named Pinky and the Brain, after the 90s cartoon lab mice — who lived at the studio and predicted five weeks’ worth of games. Sadly one hamster, Pinky, was found dead early this week.

“That’s unfortunately the  reality,” Crown said of Pinky’s death, which the company attributes to “a brief illness.”

But the series is persevering. Ankeny Christian Academy reached out to the Slash/Web staff and asked them to perform a live ‘Hamster Madness’ halftime show at a game later this month.

The latest video was a poignant tribute to Pinky, with Brain making his first solo pick. Brain’s currently two for five picks. Pink ended up two for four.


About the Author

covers young professionals for The Des Moines Register. Josh can be reached at or on Twitter via @joshhafner.

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