June 22, 2024

It is the team’s theme song for the season and acts as both inspiration and motivation for the Tar Heels: a reminder of what was and a promise of what could be.

“It really just turns us up; because all of us, last year, we didn’t like how it went, and I think that song really interpolates as a group how we feel and what we tryna do,” graduate center Armando Bacot said.

How did the team land on the song? Well, according to graduate forward Jae’Lyn Withers, it was queued up during a weight room session one day. The rest of the team listened, and the lyrics resonated. All of them had something to prove — they each needed to get back to where they once were


For Bacot and senior guard RJ Davis, that is the national championship game they lost in 2022. For junior forward Harrison Ingram and graduate guard Cormac Ryan, it is more about proving they can compete with the best players in the nation after transferring from less successful programs. But regardless of why, they all want to get back.

Now, whenever the Tar Heels have a tough win or a disappointing loss, they play the song as a reminder of their goals. It fuels them and motivates them to keep on pushing as the season continues.

It is not the only song they listen to, however. Music is a huge part of the team’s culture. It brings them together, gets them in the zone and fosters a sense of team spirit and camaraderie that shines through on the court. And it all starts with the custom Carolina Blue Bumpboxx that Ingram convinced director of operations Eric Hoots to get at the beginning of the season.

Ingram said he wanted to bring swag to the team — something that would get everyone’s energy up. So, he settled on the Bumpboxx. Now, before every home game the team brings the customized boombox out with them onto the court, usually on the shoulder of Zayden High or Duwe Farris. After a win, they blast it in the locker room, dancing and bouncing around in celebration. They even travel with the speaker so they can listen to their music on the road.

Despite the love they all have for the Bumpboxx, picking songs to play can be a hard decision. Most of the time it depends on vibes, Withers said. They take into account what they listened to the day before, what the mood is in the room and how much they want to dance, among other things.

Davis and sophomore guard Seth Trimble even have a “no rap before noon” rule, which limits what the team listens to during morning workouts.

“There’s no need for it,” Trimble said. “No need for all that yelling before 12 [p.m.].”

Another thing that limits the team’s music choices? Head coach Hubert Davis’ “no cursing” rule, which he reinstated from the Dean Smith era. He does not want the players playing music in the Dean E. Smith Center that contains profanity — a tough restriction, considering a lot of their favorite song choices.

Withers said this rule is somewhat flexible — Davis is not always watching, and when he is not, the team plays the uncensored versions of the songs.

At the end of the day, though, there is one song that they can all agree on. The Tar Heels keep coming back to “Get Back.” And they are going to keep on playing it until the lyrics finally ring true.

“I feel like everyone on the team, we all have a chip on our shoulder,” Ingram said. “We all are doubted, we’re all viewed as not good players, whatever you want to call it, and this is our get back year.”

Listen to the men’s basketball team’s favorite songs here:

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