The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday May 28th

From the Press Box

What's in the ACC men's basketball players' headphones?

Future should pay the ACC men’s basketball players for the level of marketing he got Wednesday at the ACC Media Day.

Wednesday morning I woke up early and traveled to the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Charlotte to do the most important investigative work in college athletics — compiling a playlist of songs that ACC men’s basketball players listen to in order to “get hype” for games! (And you thought I was going to mention the academic scandal - sigh!).

Actually, I originally went to Charlotte to support the two fabulous DTH sports reporters by photographing the event. The idea of coming up with this playlist came in a moment of boredom. The best ideas always come when you’re feeling bored.

I know what you’re thinking. How could you be bored when surrounded by some of the greatest coaches and players associated with college basketball? If you’ve ever met me, you’d know how much I love sports. I grew up swimming and playing soccer. My childhood dream — or at least one of them —was to be Mia Hamm (who I finally got to photograph last Friday). 

As a photographer, I had to quietly walk around and get pictures while my fellow colleagues had the opportunity to talk to all of these incredible people. My pictures were starting to look the same and after standing around, exasperated because I had been quiet for a while and wasn’t getting what I wanted out of the experience, I ran up to one of my fellow reporters and said: “How can I help? I’m bored.”

He suggested that I help collect interviews for players and the second he said that a wave of emotions hit me. Excitement. Fear. Worry. Excitement. Confusion. Sheer terror. I had been listening to the interviews for a while at this point and it was in this moment that I felt inadequate. 

Sports reporters have an incredible job that consists of them researching and remembering what, to me, appears to be trivial facts. Other than broad questions such as asking about the teams’ work during preseason or Kennedy Meeks’ weight loss journey (which is a question that will seemingly never die - like the academic scandal), I couldn’t come up with any kind of question that I felt had merit.

After my somewhat panic attack I finally came to a revelation. Ask what you know. I know music. (Or at least I thought I did before I embarked on this quest). Every morning when I wake up and get in the shower, I listen to a variety of playlists to help pump me up for the day. I’m sure many of you do the same. Everyone needs to sing in the shower at least once in their lives.

Remembering that I hadn’t listened to anything that morning, I thought: why not ask the players’ what gets them hyped up for games? I could use a few new songs for my playlist. And that’s how this playlist came to be. I learned a lot about the players’ personalities as well as what unites them all. Out of the 18 players I interviewed, half of them mentioned Future. Honorable mentions go to Meek Mill, Drake and Fetty Wapp.

NC State was represented by Anthony Barber and BeeJay Anya, both of which had Future songs on their list. Barber suggested “Karate Chop” and “Colossal” whereas Anya recommended “Jersey” and “Bags.” Also on Anya’s list were two Meek Mill songs - “Lord Knows” and “Young Thug.”

Other self-proclaimed Future enthusiasts included Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame), Dennis Clifford (Boston College), Amile Jefferson (Duke), Eli Carter (Boston College), Marcus Georges-Hunt (Georgia Tech), Zach Auguste (Notre Dame) and Michael Gbinije (Syracuse).

Anthony Gill of Virginia mentioned he didn’t like listening to music to get hype before a game. “I don’t really listen to music before the game only because it probably gets me a little bit too hype and then I won’t really focus for the game,” he said. “If I’m just trying to get hype I’ll probably listen to some Taylor Swift. My favorite song by Taylor Swift is '22'. I love that song.” While I don’t agree with Gill’s choice of favorite TSwift song, I feel ya! She rocks!

Some “slow jams” made their way into the list with Charles Mitchell of Georgia Tech recommending R. Kelly and 2Pac songs. “To be honest with you, and I’ll probably regret this, I listen to R&B songs before the game,” he began. “I like listening to mellow music before the game because I don’t want to be too over-excited. R&B music mellows me out because I’m an emotional player when the clock starts till it hits zero. I’m all over the place.” He has a Spotify playlist of his own if you want to check it out!

Trey Lewis didn’t know where to start when giving me songs. The Louisville player told me that it all depended on what mood he woke up in that day. “So some days I want to hear that trap music, loud rah-rah music (...) But some days I want to listen to R&B, something soothing.” Lewis was the only player Wednesday who mentioned gospel music as something that revs him up. Last year he listened to the song “Until I Pass Out” by Uncle Reece before one of his biggest games. “It’s a funny title but it talks about, you know, give your 100% all but not just for the game, but for God and, you know, that’s where you give your all. And so that’s what I did and I went out there and had one of my best games of the season.”

Yes, there was some variety in the songs recommended, but most of them centered on the one and only - Future.

Dennis Clifford summed up the day best when he answered my question with: “Uh, Future?”

Thanks to ACC men’s basketball, I have listened to the entire new Future and Drake album. My favorite song is "Jumpman," but you should definitely check out the entire album. It’s worth the hype.

Official 2015 ACC Men's Basketball Playlist

Anthony Barber (NCSU) - "Karate Chop," "Colossal" and "Blow a Bag" by Future

BeeJay Anya (NCSU) - "Jersey" by Future, "Lord Knows" by Meek Mill

Anthony Gill (Virginia) - "22" by Taylor Swift

Charles Mitchell (Ga. Tech) - "I Wish" and "I Believe I Can Fly" by R. Kelly, "Keep Ya Head Up" by 2Pac

Marcus Georges-Hunt (Ga. Tech) - "Knuck If You Buck" by Crime Mob, "Jumpman" and "Scholarships" by Future

Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame) - "Overtime" by Bryson Tiller

Zach Auguste (Notre Dame) - "March Madness" by Future, Drake songs, Fetty Wap songs

Amile Jefferson (Duke) - Drake/Future's new album "What A Time To Be Alive", Meek Mill songs

Eli Carter (Boston College) - "Boomin" and "RGF Island" by Fetty Wap, "Tell Me" by Yo Gotti ft. Fetty Wap

Dennis Clifford (Boston College) - "Mean to Me" by Future

Xavier Rathan-Mayes (FSU) - August Alsina songs

Justin Jackson (UNC) - "Sweet Victory" by Tripp Lee

Kennedy Meeks (UNC) - "Time" by Fetty Wap

Trevor Cooney (Syracuse) - ACDC and MGK songs

Michael Gbinije (Syracuse) - "Jumpman" by Future, Lil Wayne songs (self-proclaimed "Lil Wayne nut")

Trey Lewis (Louisville) - "Until I Pass Out" by Uncle Reece

Landry Nnoko (Clemson) - "Cocky" by Shy Glizzy

Jaron Blossomgame (Clemson) - "Lifestyle" by Young Thug

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