The increasing use of social network services, specifically Twitter, has not only become popular for many teenagers and students throughout the nation, but this social media website has caught on with many professional athletes as well as the Marquette men’s basketball team too.Currently, 8 of the 15 Golden Eagles’ basketball players have Twitter accounts that they use to interact daily with their friends and fans.
“You can connect with a lot of people, let them know what’s going on with you, and be friendly with the fans and other students around campus” said freshman forward Jamail Jones when referring to a few of the reasons why he uses Twitter.
Twitter is one of the many social network services in creation and allows its users to send and read other users’ publicly visible messages called “tweets,” up to 140 characters in length. Many of the players enjoy “tweeting” about their daily lives on campus and are given the opporunity to interact and respond to their fans via Twitter.
“It’s a good way to have little quick messages to your friends all over the world,” said senior forward, Joe Fulce. “I like to say really what’s on my mind. I just started tweeting people recently and I like to tweet anything that any typical 22-23 year-old person would say. We are just playing basketball or I’ll tell you who I’m hanging around with because people like to know who you’re hanging out with and I usually hang around with everybody. Everybody comes to my room to hangout and stuff so I’ll tweet it.”
Senior forward starter Darius Johnson-Odom is also an avid user of Twitter and tweets to give the average Marquette basketball fan a sense of what goes on in the life as a Marquette basketball collegiate athlete.
“It shows the people that you’re more than just a basketball player and that you do have some kind of social life,” said DJO. “I think it’s fun for other people to see what we’re talking about and what were doing during our day. They kind of live our lives just a little bit.”
Tweets are often sent to specific users and the majority of the Marquette basketball players enjoy and have fun receiving these personal tweets and being able to carry on a conversation and answer questions from their friends and fans.
“Anybody that tweets me, I’m definitely going to tweet back and have some type of response,” said Joe Fulce. “I’ll follow just about anybody because I don’t have an ego about any of that type of stuff. I just have fun with it.”
“I make an effort to respond to the fans,” said freshman guard Vander Blue. “I mean, they’re an important because without them I wouldn’t be where I am today so I got to make sure I stay in touch with them.”
Jamil Wilson, a sophomore forward who transferred from Oregon University and will be required by the NCAA to sit out this season, has an interesting history and story on how Twitter and social networking helped him find one person in particular who he knew from a while ago.
Tiny Gallon, the Milwaukee Bucks 47th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft who was unfortunately released by the Bucks prior to the start of the regular season, played on the same team as Jamil Wilson in the 2009 Jordan Brand All-American Classic at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“I lost his number because I lost my phone and then I found him on Twitter and we talked,” said Wilson. Wilson went on to say he also likes Twitter because he can reconnect with people, broadcast stuff such as Marquette Madness, and tell his followers about his perfect score 100 on his physics exam.
Reconnecting with Gallon now has Wilson aware of the people and fans that comprise Twitter and like Joe Fulce and Vander Blue, he always makes his best effort to respond and interact with the fans in hopes he will reconnect with another friend or teammate down the road.
According to Wilson, “If you’re going to take time out of your day to talk to me, then I’m going to take the time out of my day to talk to you. There’s no difference between me and you. The only difference is that I play basketball and you may work at a business corporation. Other than that there’s no difference. We’re the same person.”
Twitter is useful because of its instant updated information, which helped Marquette head coach Buzz Williams and his recruiting staff learn the outcome of Juan Anderson, a class of 2011 basketball recruit, who announced on Twitter hours before his press conference his decision to attend Marquette University and play for the Golden Eagles back in the beginning of October.
Juan Anderson (Juanonjuan10) posted the following on his Twitter account the day of his big announcement. “I’ve committed to Marquette University. Officially a Golden Eagle. Thank God for giving me this day and opportunity.”
Twitter has grown vastly from it’s humble beginnings and is being used to its full advantage by the Marquette men’s basketball team today, as the players are enjoying all the features and fan interaction that many social network services like Twitter is providing.
by Ryan Ellerbusch
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