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Toddler's pre-game ritual steals the show from UNC men's basketball

Brady Hoots, 3, became an internet hit recently after a video of him at a UNC men’s basketball game was shared more than 6,000 times. Courtesy of Eric Hoots.

Brady Hoots, 3, became an internet hit recently after a video of him at a UNC men’s basketball game was shared more than 6,000 times. Courtesy of Eric Hoots.

Recently, a video of a young UNC basketball fan taking his pregame ritual very seriously was shared over 6,000 times online.

In the video, 3-year-old Brady Hoots swayed to the national anthem while holding his right hand over his heart. When the anthem was over, he took off his T-shirt and showed his No. 43 UNC basketball jersey, as if to say, “Coach Williams, I’m ready.”

Several students saw the internet sensation and said they found the little future Tar Heel adorable.

“He’s so cute — I’m really touched by his devotion towards UNC basketball team,” said sophomore Sophia Wang.

Freshman Simran Khadka said she was impressed by his enthusiasm.

“I wish I had that much Tar Heel pride when I was a child,” she said. “It would be awesome if he attended UNC in the future.”

Eric Hoots, Brady’s father and director of player development for the UNC men’s basketball team, described his son’s passion for sports.

“He rehearses his pregame routine a lot in our house,” Eric said. “He really loves the national anthem, so he was warmed (up).”

Hoots is a UNC alumnus and has worked on Roy Williams’ staff for more than 11 years. He has taken Brady to quite a few baseball, soccer and basketball games.

Because he took Brady to so many games of different sports, Hoots said Brady has had a hard time picking a favorite UNC sports team.

“But he is a big Carolina fan,” Hoots said.

Steve Kirschner, a spokesman for the athletic department, was also impressed by the huge enthusiasm of the little boy.

“He comes to every game and he shoots around out on the hoop. He wears his jersey to every game,” Kirschner said.

Kirschner said he thought it was fantastic and truly remarkable how many people have seen the video.

Kirschner also said they had a lot of young fans like Brady at sporting events.

“It’s fun to watch him, and it’s fun to watch all the kids come to the game,” he said.

Sophomore Anita Chen said sometimes adults can learn from children.

“I’m a basketball fan, and this video reminds me of the sports spirit,” Chen said.

“Kids can always emotionally influence the adults. I think kids have a positive influence on the whole game.”

university@dailytarheel.com

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