Michael Phelps smiles after winning the men's 200-meter individual medley during the Arena Pro Swim Series, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Austin, Texas.
Michael Phelps smiles after winning the men's 200-meter individual medley during the Arena Pro Swim Series, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Austin, Texas. (Stephen Spillman / Associated Press)

Michael Phelps' arranged marriage with Arizona State seems to be blossoming into a love affair.

The record-setting Olympian has already announced he'll assist longtime coach Bob Bowman in running the university's swimming and diving program after this summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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But he'll apparently up the ante on his Sun Devils boosterism at Arizona State's Thursday night basketball game against Oregon State. According to several Arizona news outlets, Phelps will lurk behind the student section's renowned "Curtain of Distraction," waiting to discombobulate opposing free-throw shooters. He'll join a distinguished line of Sun Devils secret weapons, which have included smooching unicorns and heavyset students dancing in tutus.

In a more staid demonstration of his affection for the university, Phelps will swim an exhibition at Arizona's State's Feb. 6 dual meet against Arizona. He'll be joined by fellow Bowman-coached Olympian Allison Schmitt.

I spoke to Bowman last week and he gushed about how much his Baltimore transplants have enjoyed preparing for the Olympics in Arizona, where 29-inch snowstorms never enter the picture. He didn't mention the curtain.

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