This morning I attended a great event at the San Diego Hall of Champions. It was the Letter of Intent Signing Party for HS athletes all across San Diego. The event began at 8am, but many of the excited parents and athletes were there quite early. It was fun to see them wear sweatshirts and hats from the universities they’ll be attending next fall. Today was the first of seven days in which athletes who play basketball, volleyball, swimming, tennis, golf, lacrosse, girls water polo, baseball, softball and wrestling can officially commit to college scholarships. (Lots of golfers in attendance today!)
After a welcome from the Marketing Director, Jesse Lovejoy, our own San Diego Padre, Carlos Quentin took the stage to deliver an inspirational message to the families. Carlos is a San Diego native and played baseball for University High School (now known as Cathedral Catholic High School). He went on to play baseball at Stanford before going pro.
His message was very simple, yet profound. “Continue making the decisions you are already making.” He elaborated that the student athletes have already put in hard work in school, made commitments to their team and sport, and made difficult choices along the way to get to a point where they are signing intent letters for some of the finest universities in America. He warned them that they were joining an elite group of people – for some they will be teammates with Olympians and national champions. He even mentioned that they might feel intimidated by their fellow athletes or the geniuses in their classes. But he encouraged them that if they continue making the tough decisions in the fashion they have to date, that they will be the best, they will be elite and they will continue to pave the path to achieve their dreams.
Carlos is a great example for local athletes to follow. He mentioned that San Diego grows great athletes and smart students. He actually graduated in 3 1/3 years at Stanford. That’s pretty impressive. And as a San Diegan, he’s living his dream playing for the San Diego Padres.
After his motivational speech, each high school was called onto the stage and the student athletes had the opportunity to say their name, sport and what university they will play for and attend. There were local news channels there to interview select athletes and I’m sure we’ll see many on the evening news.
Hats off to the team at the San Diego Hall of Champions. It was a very special day for parents and their students and the moment was made even more special by bringing the community together to celebrate the achievements of San Diego’s high school athletes. Congratulations to all of the families. Well deserved recognition and honors today! I look forward to attending the next signing in February!
Over the weekend, the International Business Times published a great list of athletes to follow on Twitter. It never hurts to take a look and see who’s using this communication tool in a positive way and who are the influencers in sports. While the list is a bit slim outside of soccer (The only golfer to follow is Tiger? Only three olympians and three baseball players?), it does highlight the more active accounts.
New follows for me include:
NBA – Paul Pierce @paulpierce34: Unlike most athletes, Paul Pierce uses his Twitter to publicize his charity which promotes good health.
Tennis – Novak Djokovic @DjokerNole: The world No. 1 tennis player tweets a lot. He tweets personal photos, funny one-liners, and gives fans a glimpse into his daily life.
Boxing (and for entertainment value) Floyd Mayweather @FloydMayweather: Mayweather is not scared of placing his crazy life on full display via Twitter. Whether he posts Twitpics, name-checks rapper friends, or just let posts his thoughts, followers are sure to be entertained.
Here is the article in full or go to: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/355620/20120623/50-best-athletes-follow-twitter.htm?page=all
Saturday, June 23, 2012 11:11 AM EDT
The 50 Best Athletes to Follow on Twitter
By Nicole Bartnik
Twitter has becoming an increasingly more accepted form of communication, which is resulting in both flattering and unflattering comments from celebrities.
Athletes are no different. Many famous sports figures have used Twitter as a form of clarification or to make a point they feel isn’t being addressed by the mainstream media.
Others athletes simply use it as a form of publicity, and as a way to interact with their fan base. Then there are the celebrity athletes who simply want to make a public comment, no matter how trivial it is.
Here is a list of famous current and former professional athletes who have a loyal following or deserve one based on their interesting tweets.
Kaka @KAKA: Brazilian midfielder Kaka became the world’s first athlete to reach 10 million Twitter followers and is 16th in the list of most-followed tweeters. Kaka tweets in Portuguese, English, and Spanish, tweets photos of himself and other soccer stars, and even responds to fans and followers who tweet him.
Cristiano Ronaldo @Cristiano: One of the most recognizable figures in sports, Cristiano Ronaldo, or his PR team, tweets on his page nearly every day, primarily about soccer. Sometimes the Portuguese star announces contests and sweepstakes to win signed memorabilia. Not bad.
Stuart Holden @stuholden: The midfielder for the Bolton Wanderers uses his Twitter page to present entertaining thoughts on everything from soccer, bros, and even underpants. Of course, he also poses deep philosophical questions to his followers like he did in this June 16 tweet: “is it humanly possible to eat a single grape and be done?”
Cesc Fabregas @cesc4official: The central midfielder for Barcelona and Spanish national team posts a little bit of everything on his Twitter account, which boasts over three million followers. If you are a Fabregas fan, you can find out all about his dinner plans, injury rehab, and his whereabouts.
Wayne Rooney @WayneRooney: Despite having over four million followers, Rooney engages with fans on Twitter. He presents his opinion on events in the sports world and loves tweeting about playing video games with teammates.
Ronaldinho @10Ronaldinho: If you speak Portuguese, then you should probably follow Ronaldinho on Twitter. If you don’t speak the language, you should probably still follow him simply because he is one of the greatest players of his generation.
Hope Solo @hopesolo: Ever since the World Cup, it seems as though the world can’t get enough of Hope Solo, so you might as well follow her on Twitter. Solo tweets daily about soccer, and how she keeps herself busy.
Alex Morgan @alexmorgan13: Girl next door and mega-star athlete, Morgan keeps her Twitter account casual, and updates her followers about her day-to-day life and thoughts.
Ray Hudson (@liverayhudson): Some consider Hudson the most annoying broadcaster in sports, but he certainly is colorful with some of the oddest references and analogies you can think of for soccer.
Shaquille O’Neal @SHAQ: Now a TNT broadcaster, O’Neal is one of the funniest figures in sports, and even in retirement is capable of saying something hilarious. After all, his bio does read “Very quotatious. I perform random acts of Shaqness.”
LeBron James @KingJames: James has been known to be honest, and at times reckless with his Twitter. His tweets have made news, but recently, James has shown a softer side, posting pictures of his children, whom he is quite proud of.
Dwight Howard @DwightHoward: Howard uses his Twitter to respond to many of his over three million followers. Recently, he has also been using his account to promote various charitable causes.
Steve Nash @SteveNash: One of the greatest Canadian athletes of all time, the seven-time NBA All-Star still might have the most entertaining Twitter account in sports. In December of 2011, he even posted this gem: “Patches of chest hair are growing back nicely after my echo cardiogram. Which is Nice.”
Lamar Odom : Player for the Dallas Mavericks and husband to Khloe Kardashian, Odom uses his Twitter to interact with his fans. He tries responding to answer most tweets he gets and also tweets links to charities and foundations.
Charles Barkley @CHARLESBARRKLEY: Perhaps the most outspoken man in sports, Barkley has had funny exchanges on Twitter, though he normally saves his best material for Ernie and Kenny on TNT. One of his postings included a back and forth with actor Daniel Baldwin.
Metta WorldPeace @MettaWorldPeace: Who doesn’t want to go inside the mind of one of the most unpredictable personalities in the game?
Dwyane Wade @DwayneWade : A Frequent tweeter, Wade will keep you entertained by mentioning basketball, his friends, and personal activities.
Kevin Durant @KDTrey5: Kevin Durant has over 2 million followers on Twitter.
He posts his thoughts after games and share interesting videos and links he finds with his followers.
Paul Pierce @paulpierce34: Unlike most athletes, Paul Pierce uses his Twitter to publicize his charity which promotes good health.
James Harden @JHarden13: James Harden always gives followers insight on team practices and games. The Thunder star also interacts with his fans on Twitter.
Terrell Owens @terrellowens: Perhaps to other player in the NFL makes such an effort to engage and intereact win his fans on Twitter. Kudos to you, Mr. Owens.
Chad Ochocinco @ochocinco: One of the more outspoken members of the league, New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is great about keeping his tweets interesting. He’s also one of the best in facilitating fan interactions, often challenging his Twitter followers to play him in video games like FIFA 12 online.
Reggie Bush @reggie_bush: With over 2 million followers, Reggie Bush uses the platform to present his thoughts on sports, current events, and post pictures. According to a June 16 tweet, Bush is a huge fan of the movie, Bridesmaids. Who knew?
Tim Tebow @TimeTebow: Tim Tebow’s Twitter praises God, is full of patriotism and humility, and promotes various causes. What else would you expect from the football star?
Aaron Rodgers @AaronRodgers12: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a regular Twitter user. He uses the site to interact with fans and post entertaining thoughts.
Michael Strahan @michaelstrahan: Former football star Michael Strahan’s Twitter bio reads, “If you have a life you don’t have time to hate!!” His Twitter page is full of positive messages and charity promotion. No hating to be found on this page.
Chris Cooley @thecooleyzone: Chris Cooley of the Washington Redskins uses his Twitter to communicate with fans and sell his very own pottery, making his one of the more unusual Twitter pages in football.
Chris Kluwe @ChrisWarcraft: Punter Chris Kluwe is as much of a nerd as he is a football player. Kluwe is an entertaining and funny person to follow and he frequently interacts with fans. His page is full of video game related content, as is suggested by his Twitter name.
Darnell Dockett @ddockett: Darnell Dockett a defensive lineman for the Arizona Cardinals is a hilarious twitter follow. He once live tweeted while local police had him pulled over. He tweets about too many topics to list but he is always entertaining.
Nick Swisher @NickSwisher: Nick Swisher of the Yankees shares funny pictures, messages his fans, and isn’t afraid to add exclamation points to his tweets
Brian Wilson @BrianWilson38: Brian Wilson simply has an entertaining Twitter to follow. On April 25, he posted a tweet that gave followers insight to his fun and carefree personality: “Surgery was perfect. Borrowed ligament from my ol’ pal Sasquatch. Only side effects: hairy arm and I talk like a wookie.”
Logan Morrison @LoMoMarlins: This Twitter is full of borderline inappropriate tweets. If you like outspoken an R-rated humor, then follow Morrison on Twitter for your entertainment.
Ryan Whitney @RyanWhitney6: Ryan Whitney of the Edmonton Oilers is a trashing talking, opinionated, and entertaining hockey player to follow on twitter.
Mike Green @GreenLife52: Washington Capital’s Mike Green is very candid with his followers and gives honest assessment of his play on Twitter. He also uses Twitter to voice his thoughts and interact with friends and fans.
Paul Bissonnette @BizNasty2point0: Paul Bissonnette of the Phoenix Coyotes is one of the most entertaining hockey players on Twitter. He constantly updates his page and gives fans some insight into his life. On June 22, he posted this gem: “Hey guys. How long should you run hot water over your toothbrush for before you use it again if you accidently drop it in the toilet?”
Roberto Luongo @strombone1: This account may or may not be Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. It follows and is followed by many other Canucks players and is occasionally mentioned among their tweets as though it were another player. He uses the semi-anonymity to tweet freely about himself his team and his team; hilarity ensues.
Novak Djokovic @DjokerNole: The world No. 1 tennis player tweets a lot. He tweets personal photos, funny one-liners, and gives fans a glimpse into his daily life.
Serena Williams @serenawilliams: If you are a Kim Kardashian fan, you should probably also follow Serena Williams on Twitter because the two tweet amongst each other a lot. Serena also posts her daily thoughts and information on her tennis travels.
Venus Williams @Venuseswilliams: Venus Williams makes an effort to respond to many fan tweets. She also uses her page to promote her clothing line.
Caroline Wozniacki @CaroWozniacki: Former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki tweets every few days about her tennis travels and gives followers a look at her life as a world class tennis player and girlfriend of Rory McIlroy.
Andy Roddick @andyroddick: He is always honest about his play and often self-deprecating, and isn’t afraid to show emotion, particularly on Twitter. His tweets are funny but informative, commenting both on the world of tennis and current affairs.
Rafael Nadal @RafaelNadal: Rafael Nadal’s bio on Twitter reads, “Tennis player.” Indeed, much the seven-time French Open Champion’s Twitter revolves around tennis and his tournaments.
Tiger Woods @TigerWoods: Though he is not the most well liked athlete in the world, there is no doubt that Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golfers of all time. If you like golf and want your feed filled with promotional tweets from Nike, you should follow him.
Dara Torres @DaraTorres: At 41, Dara Torres was the oldest swimmer to ever earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, and has won 12 Olynpic medals. Torres is an inspirational athlete and posts positive messages on her Twitter
Michael Phelps @MichaelPhelps: Michael Phelps is one of the greatest Olympic athletes of all time and uses his twitter to connect to fans.
Shawn Johnson @ShawnJohnson: America’s sweetheart gymnast tweets multiple times per day and posts about charities and causes she supports, workouts, and her thoughts.
Floyd Mayweather @FloydMayweather: Mayweather is not scared of placing his crazy life on full display via Twitter. Whether he posts Twitpics, name-checks rapper friends, or just let posts his thoughts, followers are sure to be entertained.
Tony Hawk @tonyhawk: Tony Hawk is the epitome of cool for over 3 million followers and uses Twitter to link to an extensive Instagram album.
Lance Armstrong @lancearmstrong: Much of Lane Armstrong’s Twitter page is filled with doping allegations and defense. If you like the drama, follow him on Twitter. If you don’t, you can still enjoy some of the inspirational messages he posts.
Danica Patrick @DanicaPatrick: Danica is a media darling. Patrick keeps her followers up to date with any or promotions she is part and posts about both her day-to-day and racing life.