USC band to honor Jerry Buss at halftime of Trojans-Boston College football game

Portrait of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss during a press confrence prior to the boxing match of Hill v Hearns in Las Vegas Nevada on May 1st 1991. (Photo by: Holly Stein/Getty Images

Portrait of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss during a press confrence prior to the boxing match of Hill v Hearns in Las Vegas Nevada on May 1st 1991. (Photo by: Holly Stein/Getty Images

USC football fans have reasons to attend the Trojans’ football game Saturday against Boston College at the Coliseum for reasons beyond booing coach Lane Kiffin and calling for his firing.

According to a statement released by the university, the USC marching band will honor the late Lakers owner Jerry Buss at halftime tentatively slated for 1:30 p.m. by presenting the “greatest hits” of the Laker Band. Those songs included Rocky’s “Gonna Fly Now” and Louis Prima’s “Just a Gigolo,” tabbed as Buss’ favorite and is now played at the end of every Laker game at Staples Center.

The Laker Girls will then dance to TMB’s “Tusk”, which Buss requested whenever USC beat UCLA. The band will then spell out “B-U-S-S” on the field, which USC says has only been given a distinction to a few select Trojans. After members of the Buss family are honored, the band will play Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A,” which is played after every Lakers home win.

USC’s tribute to Buss goes beyond wanting to honor the Lakers owner after dying February at the age of 79 due to an undisclosed form of cancer. It also goes beyond Buss overseeing the Lakers winning 10 of their 16 NBA championships after purchasing the team in 1979 and building a franchise Forbes estimated to be worth $1 billion.

After attending University of Wyoming, Buss moved to Southern California in 1953 and earned a scholarship for graduate school at USC. Four years later, he earned a doctorate and a PHD in physical chemistry and was often referred from Lakers employees as “Dr. Buss.” Shortly after purchasing the Lakers, Buss initially had the USC Song Girls dance at halftime as the “Golden Girls.” They then developed into the Laker Girls. Buss also struck up a friendship with Trojan Marching band director Dr. Arthur C. Bartner that lasted 35 years.

“Dr. Buss was a longtime friend of the band,” Bartner said in a statement. “It is a great honor to pay tribute to him at halftime and a privilege to play his favorite Laker Band songs. We’re thrilled to have the world-famous Laker Girls perform with us and to welcome his family to the field.”

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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