Locker rooms serve a number of purposes for teams. It's a safe haven, where players and teams regroup, strategize and even simply, a place to change clothes.
But Virginia Tech's locker room has also served as a small stage. Players have bonded and grown closer as one of their own puts on a show without a microphone.
Junior forward Jarell Eddie has shown off his rhyming skills the past two seasons with the Hokies. He considers it a hobby, in which he writes some songs but also performs freestyle, a spontaneous instance.
"I make songs and I'm pretty good," Eddie said. "My teammates know I'm pretty good and they look forward to my music. So something fans wouldn't know is I can break it down on the track."
Now in his third season at Virginia Tech, Eddie has began each season with a rap featuring the names of his teammates. He performed his newest team song for his teammates nearly two weeks ago.
Eddie doesn't count any other rappers as role models, but says his style isn't like that of popular artists like Jay-Z, T.I. or Rick Ross.
"I'm not a gangsta at all," Eddie said. "I'm a basketball player that can rap. I rap about basketball; I rap about the life of a basketball player."
Senior guard Erick Green said Eddie's raps are music to his teammates' ears.
"I don't jump in, I just sit back and listen," Green said. "He raps and every year he makes a song about the team. We sit in the locker room, play it, dance to it. We're just a bunch of goofy guys just having fun. But Jarell's a good rapper. You gotta hear the song he made this year."
The players even perform themselves, dancing to Eddie's beats. But there's no dance named for Eddie just yet.
"They do this thing called the 'swag walk,'" Green said. "It's a down south thing. A couple of the guys on the team, they do the Dougie, but they all swag walk now.
"It's something different. I'm not gonna do it. It's not like the Dougie, it's not like the stanky leg, but it's a nice little groove that the guys do."
The overall show has been a big key to the Hokies' bond among each other the past few seasons. Players like freshman forward Marshall Wood have found it easier to fit in and talk with their teammates because the mood is lightened.
"Since the summer, our team has a really good chemistry and we hang out together all the time," Wood said.
Eddie is happy to keep the mood in the locker room upbeat, but he doesn't have any plans for a record deal any time soon.
"If basketball doesn't work out, I'm gonna get my degree in psychology and be a relationship therapist," he said.
For those looking for wedding counseling in the future, you might also get a rap session included.
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