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Predictions versus Reactions: Hoops Mania?

Rick+Ross+performed+at+this+years+Hoops+Mania.+He+also+performed+at+Hoops+Mania+in+2012.
Ryan Sarbello
Rick Ross performed at this year’s Hoops Mania. He also performed at Hoops Mania in 2012.

Hoops Mania is a pivotal campus-wide event to kick off ‘Nova’s ever-anticipated basketball season. But the real question teeming in students’ minds prior to Hoops is: Who will be performing? It is a case people attempt to crack in advance of the event every year, most to no avail. Speaking with students before and after Hoops Mania, we can get an inside look into how predictions compared to the feedback on the actual (previously mysterious) performer. Drumroll, please… Rick Ross. His identity as the performer was discovered prior to his entrance into the Finn on Saturday night, when he posted on his Instagram stories about being at Villanova to perform, and word quickly began spreading around the Pavilion. Ross performed at Hoops Mania in 2012 and was back for a repeat performance this year.

Predictions Before Hoops Mania:

Students had many predictions for the 2023 performer, including Ice Spice, Sza and Megan Thee Stallion. Many anticipated a rapper based on the past few years’ performers (Meek Mill in 2022, Offset in 2021, Swae Lee in 2019, etc.). Past star-studded Hoops Manias have also included Nicki Minaj in 2013 and Drake in 2011. Other Villanova students guessed Big Time Rush, Lil Baby, Ken Carson, Baby Keem and Kid Cudi. No one who spoke to The Villanovan correctly guessed Ross’s identity, possibly because he is the first repeat performer at a Hoops Mania.

The Debrief:

There were varied student reactions to Ross’ performance and his being chosen as the performer this year.

“Personally, I was disappointed that Rick Ross was the Hoops performer,” sophomore Caroline Donnelly said. “I had never heard of Rick Ross prior to Hoops, and I didn’t know a single one of his songs either. I think it’s really exciting for Villanova to have an artist perform on campus, but since the school probably pays a significant amount of money to hire the Hoops performer, it would definitely be nice to have someone that more students know.”

Many students complained of not knowing Ross’s music, and those who did were disappointed he didn’t play a lot of his more well-known songs.

“I had to look up Rick Ross after and found out he sang on one of my favorite Drake songs, but he didn’t play it,” freshman Megan Clancy said.

“Some of the people that I talked to afterward who were familiar with Rick Ross’ music said that he didn’t even play any of his hits, which is disappointing,” Donnelly said.

However, some were more pleased with the performance than others.

“I was excited to see Rick Ross because he’s on some of my favorite songs, and the atmosphere was cool to be a part of,” freshman Jack Santee said.

Students had mixed responses on the performance, but Hoops Mania remains a time-honored tradition at Villanova and students look forward to what next year brings. 

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About the Contributor
Sophie Latessa, Co-Culture Editor
Sophie Latessa is a freshman in her first year as Co-Culture Editor of The Villanovan. She is an undecided arts major hoping to pursue journalism or psychology. She has always loved to write and was also an editor on her high school newspaper. A Jersey girl at heart, she loves a good trip down to the shore in the summer. When she is not writing, she can be found dancing, hanging out with friends, or searching for a seat in Conn.
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