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Hoop Troop’s goal is to entertain

January 26, 2012

KEMPT

FROM THE SPORTS DESK
WITH REINA KEMPT

 

For two and a half years, I have attended the men’s and women’s basketball games and have enjoyed a specific portion of our rather large band called the Hoop Troop. The guys and girls are your everyday college students who come together with their musical talents and rock the place. Not only do they play some nice tunes, but these students are some of the biggest Bulldog and Techsters fans in the gym.

 
They are the ones you hear taunting our opponents and chanting catchy insults about the referee’s inability to see or hear. I sometimes catch myself watching them instead of the game.

 

My favorite performance is when they play “Low Rider” by War, and the clarinet section bring out their steering wheels and begin to cruise the place.

 

The student section goes wild when the hoop troop plays “Talkin’ Out the Side of Your Neck” by Cameo and “Apache (Jump on it)” by Sugar Hill Gang. Their many traditions include putting their hands up and staying quiet while Tech players shoot free throws or waving goodbye to an opponent who has just fouled out of the game. They make the crowd apart of the game.

 

They aren’t like regular bands that may have on a uniform or at least a nice pair of slacks. These people come out in a red or blue Tech polo shirt and jeans and some the occasional face paint or bandana wrapped around their head.

 

A group of wacky kids must be run by a wacky director, and that person is Jim Robken. He is the man that makes sure things don’t get too wild, but he is a part of the fun at the same time.

 

Beyond their crazy tactics to make the crowd feel a part of the excitement, they make it worth coming to the games even if you aren’t a fan of basketball.  Even Sports Illustrated thinks so, as in 2005 the Hoop Troop was featured in the article “65 things we want to see during March Madness.” We were No. 30 as “The Louisiana Tech pep band, a.k.a. the Hoop Troop, the funniest band in the land.”

 

With credentials like that, who wouldn’t want to see this band act out? But this is more than just a band, this is a group of young men and women who come together and vow to bring down the house.

 

Reina Kempt is a junior journalism major from Baton Rouge. Email comments to rjk007@latech.edu.

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