Squad names: the story behind the BIBs and the Chads

Two friend groups share how their name brought them together


The BIBs pose in front of a McLaren at Cupertino Main Street. Photo used with permission of Akshay Bharadwaj

Roshan Fernandez and Herman Saini

When junior Ajay Keshava first heard someone use the name BIB to describe his friend group in middle school, he felt uneasy. Coined by others at school, the term stood for “B—-y Indian Boys.” The group met on the basketball court –– as a result of lunchtime games at Kennedy MS –– and according to Keshava, that’s how the name came about.

“People said we all had an attitude and we [only] played basketball,” Keshava said. “[They thought] that we didn’t really do anything else and we didn’t really socialize with other people, [so that’s how we got the name].”

The group members consider themselves to be unique not only because of their love for basketball, but also due to the close knit community that they’ve formed over the last six years. In fact, what was once a phrase laced with negative meaning has now become a symbol of the group’s pride.

“It was a pretty negative connotation especially in the beginning, but then we just decided to own it and say ‘This is us, this is who we are,’” junior Akshay Bharadwaj said. “And [now] we don’t really associate it negatively anymore, [because it’s] something special to us and our group.”

Similar to the BIBs are the Chads, a group consisting of mainly seniors who similarly bonded over their love for AP Physics 1. The group members, including seniors Aditya Telang, Rithvik Chuppala and Sam Yang met each other two years ago as sophomores. Their study sessions in the school library slowly transitioned into hanging out.

The name for their group came from an internet meme, but has since become a symbol for their friendship. Though the word ‘chad’ originally had a different meaning, the group changed the word to signify exceptionalism in academics or any other respect because they felt that best described the group’s members.

From there, the word became more commonly used, becoming both a verb, chadding, which means to be outstanding, as well as in appearing in group member’s nicknames, such as ‘Chadmara’ and ‘Chad Marshall.’ They wear their group name as an emblem, just like the BIB group does.

The basketball bond from middle school continues to hold the BIBs together, and although they no longer spend all their free time playing, the sport is still something they enjoy. In fact, over the summer, they tried to hold what they called a “nine for nine,” where all nine of the group members come out for a game. Essentially, they wanted to play basketball, just like old times.

“Everyday, people said they would come, but someone would dip, and it would just be a problem,” Keshava said. “But on the last day, everyone said they would come and we made a vow saying that we had to do this once at least, and it all worked out.”

Just like the ‘nine for nine’ game, the Chads also socialize. Under the name, they are brought together and reminded of their community.  

I spend most of my time with these guys, and I think it’s made me more of a social person,” Telang said. “It’s a neat lifestyle.”

All nine of the BIBs pose for a photo in the rally court. Photo used with permission of Akshay Bharadwaj.

The BIBs enjoy a similar community, and beyond playing basketball, the group is also passionate about the NBA, although many of them root for rival teams. According to Keshava, the regular debates and discussions that arise due to these differences help to bring their already tight-knit group closer together.

Keshava recalls a time that the group went to Lazy Dog restaurant to watch the NBA Finals. Because they were Cavalier fans in a predominately Warrior crowd, they stuck out.

“It was an experience because we were the only ones cheering for the Cavs, and it showed that we don’t really care that much [about what other people think of us],” Keshava said. “We think what we think.”

Just like the way they stuck out compared to the crowd at the restaurant, the group says they find themselves closer despite the way that the name that others gave them. And now, they can say with confidence that they are proud to be a BIB.

“It’s actually really fun, and not thinking about what BIB stands for, it’s a pretty fun group and one that you’d really want [to be a part of],” junior Ankit Rustagi said. “Because at the end of the day, you want to have such memories where in the future, you can just look back at all the good times you had.”