l out all the stuff they have to interact with: the clap-your-hands and stomp-your-feet stuff. You try to keep that energy as high as you can,” he said.
After than first basket, the crowd settles down a bit and Huckabee concentrates on reading the rhythm of NBA basketball.
Huckabee, 33, is a Detroit native who’s had jobs in loosely connected fields in several states. He lived in Clearwater, Fla., for a time, where he worked with special effects and costumes, including design work on a series of Boba Fett outfits for the premiere of “Star Wars: Episode I “ The Phantom Menace.”
He then became involved in behind-the-scenes movie work and, eventually, lighting, and he was hired as a lighting tech for Clearwater’s Bricktown 54, named after the Oklahoma City club, which closed in 2003. His lighting work led to DJ gigs at the Florida club and a 54 branch in Wichita, Kan.
Eventually, Huckabee found himself in Oklahoma as one of the resident DJs at the Skyy Bar Ultra Lounge. In the Thunder’s early days, he said another NBA DJ was flown in from Houston to help rile up crowds for Oklahoma City home games. The DJ approached Huckabee after watching him work crowds at Skyy Bar after a game in November 2008.
“He said, “I’ve got a job that might change your life. I think you’re perfect for it, so give me a call in the morning,'” Huckabee said.
That phone call led to a meet-and-greet at a home game the following Friday, and some of the Thunder’s entertainment directors ended the evening watching Huckabee spin a set at Skyy Bar.
“They came up to me and said, ‘If you want the job, it’s yours,'” he said.
He blames his loud mouth for helping him land the gig. Unlike many other club DJs who keep their heads trained on their turntables and speak with their mixes, Huckabee prefers to address his audience directly.
“Having a microphone is a must,” he said.
For a while, Huckabee spent part of his time down near the court with his turntables, where he cued up mixes for the team’s pregame workout. But arena renovations absorbed his floor-level post, and the time slot was turned over to Rumble the mascot.
There’s been talk of reintroducing the turntables, Huckabee said, but DJ Boom’s relocation from his perch in section 316 is unlikely.
“The heart and soul of our fan base is in Loud City,” he said. “As of that first playoff game, we are the loudest fans in the history of the NBA, so I like being up there.”
The Thunder job is part-time, but Huckabee keeps DJ Boom’s schedule filled with regular appearances at Rok Bar and Buddha Tao Asian Bistro, as well as Pink Bar & Lounge in Tulsa.
When he talks about the arena-sized opportunity of entertaining NBA crowds, his nonchalant confidence gives way to an excitement that borders on anxiousness.
But no one will notice on Oct. 27, when the Thunder opens its season against the Chicago Bulls.
“Listen, man, you put me in front of 20,000 people, I won’t choke,” he said. “I’ll get up there and get it done.”