GET SQUIZZY: Overland hoops DJ moves the culture on and off the boards

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AURORA | Anybody who has been to a home game for the Overland boys basketball team in the past two years know it’s an experience unlike any other on the prep level.

In large part because of the recent dominance of the Trailblazers — a run that included the school’s first Class 5A state basketball championship in its 37-year history — “O-Town” has never been a more fun or prideful place to be.

DJ Squizzy Taylor
DJ Squizzy Taylor

Star center De’Ron Davis and teammates play above the rim, the ‘Blazers permeate the obvious swag of a championship winner, and students and faculty rabidly support their team. On top of that, Overland basketball games have been the place to be on Wednesday and Friday nights for the past two seasons thanks to an assist from DJ Squizzy Taylor.

Hunched over a digital turntable and laptop in the corner of the Overland gym, Taylor — real name Michael Bellamy — takes the pulse of the crowd, tracks the flow of play and keeps an eye on the demeanor of Trailblazers’ coach Danny Fisher.

Adding Taylor to the game day lineup is something Fisher and former Overland assistant Anthony Hardin (now Smoky Hill’s head coach) made happen a couple of years ago, and there’s no doubt it’s contributed to the mystique and success of a program that aims for a third straight trip to the state semifinals or better.

“Coach Ant and I had a conversation with Squizzy a couple of years ago about doing this, Steve (Deschryver) the AD supported it, and it’s really taken off,” Fisher said.

“He adds an element to home games that you really don’t see anywhere else. He makes it an event. Culture is something else. It’s very difficult to establish, but when you have it, it’s something else.”

The Trailblazers began their hoops movement with the arrival of Fisher, Davis and a few other key players four years ago and it’s on the cusp of being a full-blown hoops dynasty.

Overland students dance and sing to music provided by DJ Squizzy Taylor during the Overland boys basketball game against Cherry Creek on Jan. 20, 2016. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Overland students dance and sing to music provided by DJ Squizzy Taylor during the Overland boys basketball game against Cherry Creek on Jan. 20, 2016. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Opposing teams don’t enjoying playing against Overland in their house — especially since the Trailblazers own a sparkling 24-4 mark on their home floor in the last three seasons — but opposing fans of all ages enjoy being in the stands for the music.

Visitors often remark at how much energy is in the Overland gym and the players themselves feel it. The Trailblazers play in some unique gyms in the Centennial League, but they believe they have the best home-court advantage around.

“The crowd can get kind of dead in other places, but we’ve got this great environment,” said Davis, one the main faces of Overland’s recent hoops revolution.

“The DJ gets us hype and gets the crowd hype,” he added. “When the crowd is jiggin’ and we’re jiggin,’ it gets our flow going.”

Davis — an Indiana University signee who gets the crowd going with his often spectacular dunks and blocked shots — noted the boost the music and the home crowd’s energy gave them in a Centennial League win over Cherry Creek on Jan. 20.

The Trailblazers led by just four points at halftime, but gained steam in the second half and surged to a double-digit victory over the Bruins.

“If you look at the game, we came out kindof flat in the second half, but then they played a couple of songs the crowd liked and that’s when Padiet (Wang) got some look outs, Alijah (Halliburton) got a dunk and we got rolling.”

Fisher knows he can get fiery on the sidelines when the team is struggling and Taylor always seems to know how to handle it.

“When I get aggressive in the huddle, he turns it up so people can’t hear what I’m saying,” Fisher said with a grin. “We work around each other. We’ve got a groove.”

Since winning has become so commonplace, Overland now has a victory song.

Alum Ray Reed dropped the team’s new anthem “Ballin’ Like Overland” earlier this year and Taylor puts in on after every home victory.

“I like it, I wish he’d do another one,” said Davis, who is mentioned in the song along with fellow seniors Reggie Gibson and Jervae Robinson.

The Trailblazers have a maximum of two more home games left this season, the second rounder against Liberty and a possible Sweet 16 matchup on March 2 against the Far Northeast Warriors or Boulder.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel