Spencer Weisz (@S_Weisz973), a 2014 guard from New Jersey, hit a deep three-pointer over the fingertips of AAU teammate Wade Baldwin (@The_Fourth_Wade) during a closely contested game at Hoop Group Academic Elite camp Friday. He then proceeded to give Baldwin a little bit of friendly trash talking as they made their way back down the court.
Seeing this, I took to Twitter to report the news:
Spencer Weisz hits a three right in Wade Baldwin’s face & they exchange some friendly trash talk. Both SportsU guys. #HGElite
— Daniel Martin (@DanielJMartin_) June 29, 2012
Later at dinner, Weisz says, he was scrolling through his phone and found the tweet.
“I was sitting at the table and I found it and I thought, ‘Oh, Wade is going to love this,” Weisz recounts. “And I said ‘Look at this,’ and he was kind of mad, but it’s all good fun.”
Baldwin, though, had the last laugh, as his team won in double overtime on his game-winning lay-up.
Social media has grown exponentially over the past few years and has now become as engrained in the culture of a basketball camp as chatting at the lunch table or talking on the court.
But with great power comes great responsibility.
Now that players have access to a mode of public expression, they have been taught that what they say reflects upon their character, especially with college coaches who are recruiting them.
“No curse words, no vulgar language, nothing that would get you in any sort of trouble,” Weisz says. “You don’t want that to ruin your future, but I just see it as a friendly thing.”
Approaches to social media differ, with some players choosing to use it as a way to gain information, either breaking news or keeping up with friends, while others see it as a way to further their personal brand.
Brian Lukacsy (@brianlukacsy), a fellow player at Elite Camp, has used Twitter to stay informed about upcoming Hoop Group events, as well as stay in touch with friends.
“I try to communicate with the guys at camp and I know coaches look at it, too,” he says. “I know it’s a big part of the recruiting process. I just want to say good things about myself and my game. No negative stuff. It’s not necessary.”
Next week Hoop Group will turn their focus to coaches and take a look at how they can utilize social media before the live recruiting period.
Follow Daniel Martin on Twitter: @DanielJMartin_