76ers employee wows as team's national anthem singer

Thursday, June 17, 2021
Sixers employee to sing national anthem Wednesday
If you've gone to a Sixers game in the past couple of years, you have seen some incredible talent. But not referring to any of the players, but a singer.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- When the Philadelphia 76ers take the court for Game 5 Wednesday night, Joi Hooper will set the tone.

"It's a privilege, it's an honor. There are so many emotions that go through me, but in the moment it's 'be calm and deliver,'" she says.

And boy does she ever.

When Hooper sings, the crowd goes wild as if she were a multi-platinum recording artist. But she's not. In fact, the team found her working in the finance office down the hall.

"We had 'bring your child to work day,' and my daughter comes to the job. They had the children in the room, and when they called on each one, they wanted them to introduce themselves and tell us something about your parent," she recalls. "And when they got to my daughter she said, 'Oh my Mommy can sing, she has a beautiful voice.' I was a little embarrassed because nobody really knew I could sing."

The rest, of course, is history. She's been turning heads ever since. She even caught Doc Rivers' eye when he was visiting as the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.

"I remember years ago when she was singing and I walked over to the scorers table and I said, 'Who is that lady, she's really good?'" Rivers recalls. "And they said, 'Oh, she works for us!"

And not only is the team's payroll coordinator a good singer, but she's also a good luck charm. The Sixers have only lost three times when she sings before games.

"To be fair, they have a great at-home record. The home fans, the energy -- all of that plays a part. I'm just happy to be a part of that whole combination," Hooper says.