The routine is one practiced across the nation for high school basketball teams during introductions.
But the Rock Hill Bearcats added another twist late last season that this year's returning players hope will continue as long as the elderly, friendly, white-haired man occupies a bottom bleacher spot on the visiting side so he can watch the coaches and players.
His name is Robert Hope, a friend to many and one of Rock Hill's best-known personalities. He was the director of the Charlotte Avenue YMCA until he retired, and basketball has always been a game he loves.
Hope, 82, touched thousands of lives. Old-timers around here got to know him well while growing up in York County and playing on the shiny, wooden basketball court at the Y.
Never miss a local story.
Rock Hill's players know him only for being one of the team's most avid supporters.
"He's alway here when we play at home and lots of times on the road when he can make it," Bearcats boys coach Eric Rollings said. "I've been here since 2000, have been an assistant football coach, the girls varsity basketball coach and in 2009, took over the varsity boys team.
"I've seen Mr. Hope at just about every Bearcats' sporting event we have; football, volleyball, basketball. Name the sport, and he is a Bearcats fan."
It's an odd situation. Hope graduated from Winthrop Training School in 1947 and has a daughter who was a standout basketball player at Northwestern.
When their names are called during the lineup announcements, the Bearcats jog past the scoring table and slap hands with the opposing coach. That done, they spin quickly and run across the court to exchange a hand bump with Hope, who is more times than not accompanied by his wife, Margaret.
Rollins said the players do not hand bump Mrs. Hope; they see it as a guy thing. And after the sharing of knuckles, they run back to their bench for some final words with Rollings before the tip.
Hope got a roster from Rollings before the season and quickly learned this year's team. That was a chore, because Rock Hill had five players transfer this season. And anyone who knows him will say the first thing you notice about Hope is his baritone voice that can carry over a crowd.
"Yeah, he knows all of us," said Jamal Jones, a 6-foot-5 wing player considered one of the top juniors in the state. "And yes, we hear him when we are on the court. He gets on us when we mess up, yells for us when we do something good, keeps stats. He tells us what we have at halftime when we are on the road."
Jones said the players acknowledge Hope at home and on the road out of respect. They, Jones said, need to thank him each time out for being there and cheering them on.
The routine began last year after Rollings mentioned to his players that Hope might be one of the best fans the team had, and that he was there if the Bearcats were playing well or struggling. Rollings called him a big-time supporter and that none of the players have a "clue" about Hope's past.
Jones said after Hope was honored by the school during a game last year, the players decided to include him in their ritual. And his favorite team being 15-2 this season has given more excitement to the old-timer.
"I can hear him now saying 'Hey, hey,' when we are playing," Jones said. "I can't speak for the other players, but he is an inspiration for me.
"He tells me when to turn it on, to keep my head up because the team needs me. But that's the same for all of us. The thing about him, he's a nice old guy for his age."
Hope could not be reached Thursday, but look for him tonight when the Bearcats boys host rival Northwestern at 8. The gym will be close to full, but if you listen closely, Hope will be heard yelling over the crowd.
That's what he does, and he loves it.