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'Harlem Shake' Breaks Out on DePaul Campus

By Paul Biasco | February 22, 2013 8:33am

LINCOLN PARK — After a week of seeing college basketball squads around the country put up their own "Harlem Shake" videos in response to the viral Internet sensation, DePaul University's basketball teams were eager to film their own.

"We saw Kansas do it," sophomore center Derrell Robertson said. "We've seen a lot of them, but theirs is the best."

The men's and women's' basketball teams gathered in the school's student center to perform the whacked-out dance after a pep rally Thursday. Both women's coach Doug Bruno and associate men's head coach Ron Bradley hyped up their weekend games by enticing students to attend so they could be part of massive tapings of "Harlem Shake" videos.

"We are always trying to find ways to get students out to the games," said Jillian Domin, a graduate student and assistant with the sports marketing department. "Sometimes you need some extra incentive, there's so many things going on in the city."

Montray Clemons, a standout sophomore forward for DePaul, said he had seen a few teams' videos, such as those by Kansas and Louisville, and was ready to throw his own spin on the dance.

He had no plans before the song boomed through DePaul's student center, and said he was going to go with the flow.

Robertson went with the flow by sporting a Roman wreath headband and swinging two borrowed pom poms in the air while some classmates wiggled on the floor and under chairs and others swung their hair in circles like Tarzan.

The video, which is being produced by the university's athletic marketing department, will be edited and up on the web before Saturday's men's home game versus the University of Connecticut.

The video that started the craze is a 30-second clip of an Australian longboard skateboard crew going wild to Baauer's "Harlem Shake." That video, which was uploaded Feb. 2, garnered almost 15 million views as of Friday morning, and sparked thousands of imitations.

The DePaul University Athletic Department took notice of the videos and thought it would be a good marketing tool, said Karen Loiacono, director of marketing and licensing.

"We were talking about getting some flash mobs and heard about this," she said. "I think they are fun. They are creative — pretty cool."