Jay-Z appearance at Pitt game wows Panthers, Duke
Like he insists has been his routine for every game, Zion Williamson had a go-to pregame hype-up song.
“‘(It Was All A) Dream’ by Jay-Z, Faith Evans and Notorious B.I.G.,” the Duke freshman said proudly. “I can never go wrong with that song.”
So, imagine Williamson’s joy when he saw Jay-Z sitting courtside at a packed Petersen Events Center as his Blue Devils and the Pitt Panthers readied to play Tuesday night.
“When he walks in with that whole squad, you look over and it’s like, ‘Oh my god, that’s him, that’s Hova,’” Williamson said, using Jay-Z’s nickname.
“Jay Z, you can quote me on this, Jay-Z is my favorite rapper. … I listen to Jay Z before every game and I’m not lying when I say that.”
The internationally-renowned recording artist and entrepreneur did not visit with either team in its locker room, but he did initiate the idea for a visit to Pitt for the game.
“His people reached out to me a few weeks ago, actually, about him wanting to come –about them wanting to come, people from Roc Nation,” Pitt coach Jeff Capel said. “Our athletic department and our ticketing people did an amazing job accommodating that.
“Obviously, it’s great to have the greatest rapper ever in your arena, and one of the world’s greatest entertainers. So it’s pretty cool.”
Roc Nation is the company founded by Jay-Z a decade ago. Part of portfolio is a sports management division (Roc Nation Sports) that represents athletes. Duke has a handful of potential NBA lottery picks (including Williamson), which perhaps is at least one part of Jay-Z’s desire to visit for this game.
Jay-Z sat courtside on the near side and to the right side of the court (from the television view), him and his entourage just in front of the Pitt student section known as the Oakland Zoo.
The game attracted the seventh-largest crowd in Pitt history and only the second sellout of the season. But there is no more Duke on the schedule – and, presumably, no Jay-Z in attendance – the rest of the season.
“I don’t know what we do for an encore,” Capel said.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at [email protected] or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .