FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 26 against North Dakota will feature a special halftime performance by UniHoops performer Whit Johnson. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:05 p.m.
The UniHoops act combines quirky dance moves, basketball skills, and a unicycle to create an enormously popular halftime show. Right down to his prescription goggles, Whit's funky basketball style has entertained audiences across the country at both collegiate and professional venues. Since his debut in 2011, he has performed at halftime of games at BYU, UCLA, Utah State and Weber State, as well as the Washington Mystics of the WNBA.
Johnson learned to juggle at the age of 10 and began unicycling at 17. Two years ago, he combined the two skills and has been traveling around the country entertaining fans ever since.
UniHoops spent some time this week talking to NAUAthletics.com about his performance at the Skydome.
What inspired you to become a halftime performer?
"I always have been into juggling since I was young, but basketball has been my favorite sport. I was working at Weber State University and going to the basketball games. I saw some of the halftime performances like the Red Panda. I was talking to my boss and I told him I could do something like that. I broke out my unicycle and started practicing.
How long have you been unicycling?
"I learned how to ride when I was 17. I never really took it that serious. I could ride it straight. That is about all I could do. I started riding in my living room in the winter and two years ago I started riding seriously."
How long did it take before you were ready to go on the road?
"When I started with it, I had the goal in mind. The first year I worked on the routine and how to do everything. I started here in Utah locally and really starting breaking out this year and try to go out on the road with it."
Where have you performed this year?
"I have performed three times at Weber State at different games and for UCLA and the Washington Mystics. I am also scheduled with the Idaho Stampede in March."
What can our fans expect from your show on Saturday?
"It will be a good time. It has a little retro 70's feel with the music. I will be doing a lot of juggling with basketballs and on the unicycle, as well as shooting from the unicycle. It will be a lot of fun. The music gets people dancing."
What do you do outside of performing?
"I work for Weber State University in the budget office and help my wife manage her career as an author and speaker. Other than that, I play basketball and have fun."
UniHoops is the first of two professional halftime acts scheduled to perform at the Walkup Skydome this season. The Amazing Christopher will perform on March 2.
To purchase single game tickets for these games, click here or call 928-523-5661.