ASU's 942 Crew exceeds expectations, continues to grow

Behind the scenes of ASU's notorious student section

Since its beginnings in fall 2012, ASU's 942 Crew has gained fame as the university's student section — the only such section to be featured live on SportsCenter — and received attention from mainstream media organizations such as CBS and USA Today.

ASU’s Associate Athletic Director and 942 Crew’s advisor, William "Bill" Kennedy, said the group has surpassed all expectations ASU Athletics had.

He said after attendance at ASU men's basketball games declined to an average of 335 students per game in 2010, the student organization was developed to find a way to boost attendance to the games. 

“One of the things that was discussed was how do we get a group of students that are passionate about basketball to help spread the word to other students,” Kennedy said. “We started with about 12 kids and this concept of 'we’re going to do everything we can to promote basketball.'”

Since its creation, 942 Crew has broken attendance records for ASU basketball games and many other ASU sports as well, he said.


While Kennedy said anyone in the student section is considered part of 942 Crew, the group is led by an executive board. The board is responsible for securing funding through the athletics department, donations and connecting with other University teams.

“We started with 12 kids on our exec board, now we have almost 100 kids on our exec board,” Bill said.

One of the most infamous aspects of the 942 Crew is the Curtain of Distraction, which was created to distract the opposing team's players at the free throw line.


Brooklyn Adams, a psychology sophomore and 942’s Curtain of Distraction chair, said the Curtain's components are the result of brainstorming from the whole board. 

“It’s honestly a group effort thing, a lot of people come up with a bunch of different ideas and we just decide what’s going to be the most distracting,” Adams said. “We take a lot of things from YouTube skits — a lot of stuff comes from popular movies.”

This year has been the best year for the Curtain of Distraction as opposing free throw shooters have averaged 59 percent, the lowest percentage since its introduction five years ago, Adams said. 

“We’ve done statistically better this year because we are more choreographed and more organized,” Adams said. “It really does have an effect on the game if you look at it.”

The 942 Crew has also received attention for celebrity appearances, such as Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.

Joey Palomarez, a junior studying organizational leadership and 942 Crew's marketing and social media chair, said many things attract students and celebrities to the stands of Wells Fargo Arena.

“We have a great atmosphere, we really focus on making sure students want to come back,” Joey said. “We don’t go to (celebrities), they come to us. We’ve built a brand as a student section that no other school has and it gives these people opportunities that they couldn’t do otherwise.”

Palomarez said that 942 Crew's ultimate goal is to increase student involvement in ASU athletics.

“Honestly, it all comes back to whether the game is fun, because if it’s fun, then people want to come back," he said.


Reach the reporter at jbarnitz@asu.edu or follow @JMBarnitz on Twitter.

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