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Get To Know Your Rowdies - Hoops

Hoops, a native of Tampa, FL, has always had a passion for soccer. Growing-up, people were curious about his “L” shaped body, that resembled a green and yellow sock.  “It was hard at times being nicknamed Socky, L, or Stripes.  But it only fueled my desire to become the mascot for a professional soccer team.”

After graduating from Mascot College, where he specialized in modeling, crowd interaction and dance choreography, Hoops heard the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies were returning to the area and went to try out.  He was immediately chosen as the official mascot.

“As soon as I laid eyes on the green and yellow, striped sock, I knew he was the perfect fit for our new team,” said the Rowdies mascot coach.  On April 6, 2010 Hoops joined the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies for their inaugural season.  His story did not end there; he was in need of a name, which was put into the hands of the devout Rowdies fans.

“I think it was a great idea for the fans to choose my name," said Hoops.  "They should be proud and a part of the process.”

The votes were counted and “Hoops” was the overwhelming choice for the new mascot.

Hoops made his first appearance as a Rowdie on May 8 at the home opener in front of more than 8,000 fans.  He has been at Rowdies home games and also participated in Blue’s Birthday at Steinbrenner Field on July 30.  Hoops’ greatest achievement came on July 22, when he made a kick-save during the Mainsail halftime promotion to keep the competition close.

Who is your hero?
My father, who paved the way for me to become the Rowdies mascot.

What are your favorite movies?
The Big Green, Bend it Like Beckham, Behind the Mascot and GOAL (because Coach Dalglish makes an appearance)!

What’s your favorite color?
It’s a complete tie between green and yellow!

What is one thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t had the chance to do yet?
Crowd surf

Name some things that no one knows about you.
I do talk but I’m just shy when it comes to speaking in front of people and I am ambidextrous.

How do you prepare for games?
I have to hydrate to stay on top in this Florida heat.  I also warm up in the locker room and practice my poses in the mirror.

Any future goals?
To become the best mascot in Tampa!

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