Thursday, January 24, 2013

How Twitter Helped Owen, Middle School B-ball Player, Get His Sports Center Moment

Middle School Basketball Player from Michigan Gets His Sports Center Moment
The Power of a Hashtag - Making Dreams Come True

As I was driving home this afternoon, I heard this very cool story about how the students of a local junior high school in Rochester Hills, MI had used Twitter to help support their teammate.  As I understand the story, there is a young man on the basketball team named Owen Groesser who had been waiting for his opportunity to get into a game all season.  Last night was finally the night and luckily for all of us, there was video camera on hand.

As the story goes on, I learn that Owen is not just any basketball player, but he is a young man that is playing with Down syndrome.  There was a pretty full crowd in attendance as Owen stepped onto the court for the first time last night; however, this didn't seem to distract or unnerve our young hero, as he took his first pass and immediately buried a long three-point shot from almost half-court.  As the video plays on, we'll see Owen play a bit of defense, miss a couple shots, and then with the crowd chanting his name and the clock running down......he drills another one.  Disney couldn't write this script any better.

But it gets even better.

After his teammates rush the floor at the end of the game and celebrate with Owen, they rush to their social media devices and create the hashtag #GetOwenOnSportsCenter

By the end of the night, that's exactly what happened, Owen was on SportsCenter in the top plays segment.  So instead of this being a story that happened in a gym in front of about 100 people, some great teammates and social media put Owen's story in front of the world.

Owen is incredibly humble in his interview and he and his teammates should be very proud of their  amazing story and great example of how "word of mouth" has evolved with social media.

Simply amazing.  Great job Owen!


  1. Erin, Thank you for sharing this beautiful story! You did a great job retelling this story. Such a great reminder of what our priorities should be.
    An Open Door

  2. Thanks so much Camille!!

    I really appreciate your feedback,


  3. Wow! What an amazing story.
    It's also an excellent example of the power of social media to spread a story.

  4. Thanks Shane!

    I thought it was a powerful, positive way to show how young adults are using social media, too.



  5. A great benefit of group sports is how they improve your character in general. Honesty and obedience is improved as one includes themselves in team-based sports.
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