What happens when you @mention a former NBA player on Twitter, who just so happens to have gone to your high school?
You end up becoming Twitter friends and getting dinner the next time he’s in town.
First things first… the NBA player? Bruce Bowen (most notable for winning three NBA championships in the early 2000’s with the San Antonio Spurs.)
The common link? Fresno’s Edison High School (where I just so happened to unintentionally end up being in a position to organize my high school reunions the rest of my life. No one told me that was part of the whole being “Senior Class President” role.)
Granted, Bowen graduated 14 years before me…but still. We’re both Tigers at heart.
Anyway. We became Twitter friends back in April, had many a conversation about Fresno and the broadcast industry (Bowen is an NBA analyst for ESPN), and that was that. We followed eachother, so indirectly, it’s sorta like we were talking everyday (thank you Twitter for giving me a false sense of friendship with those I follow.)
Fast -forward to August, I post my new hosting demo reel online (which if you haven’t seen, you should go WATCH now), and he gives me a solid shout-out:
Thus, conversation strikes up once again, and it’s decided that we’ll grab a meal when he’s in LA mid-August. We hit the JW Marriott at LA Live (because I figure basketball players love to hang out near Staples Center, home of the Lakers/Clippers?) and dine there. Conversation highlights?
- Fresno = notorious for foggy winters. Apparently he looked forward to foggy days because it meant that no one would bother committing crimes, and he could live his life normally.
- Red Bull. Specifically, how he and Tim Duncan would down Red Bulls before games (Tim generally downed more because he was taller.)
- The bow tie. Yes, everyone who I mention Bruce to ends up mentioning his wearing of the bow tie as part of his ESPN analyst uniform. I personally like the gimmick. It’s…memorable.
- We’re both left-handed (meaning we’re both amazingly clever and talented.) I have this theory that because I’m left-handed, my language skills are impaired. What I mean by that is I can understand Spanish and Urdu/Hindi fluently, yet I can barely get out a word if I attempt to speak it…(and even when I do, I sound very…gringo.) Anyway, Bruce told me he was good at Spanish, thus negating my theory.
- We both ordered the same thing. Beef Short Ribs (ironic because he’s tall and doesn’t have actual short ribs. Bad joke? Eh.)
- Bruce always leaves room for dessert. He got Red Velvet something. I decided to be different and get something called “Grasshopper Pie” (there were no grasshoppers harmed in the making of this pie. In fact, it was just the world’s largest mint chocolate chip ice cream guised as “pie” – dessert FAIL.)
- I told him how I’m “lactose intolerant” (one of my friend’s refuses to believe/support that I am) – I told him how I developed it a few years ago in early adulthood, but I only bring it up when I need it as an excuse not to eat something. (He must’ve thought I was weird at this point.)
- Fave places in the 559? Bobby Salazars. Round Table. (If you’re not from Fresno, you cannot appreciate this bullet point.)
- He runs a summer basketball camp for kids out of the Edison gym every year. This year, they were renovating it… meaning he couldn’t run his camp. Poor children.
- He asked me if I remembered my principal’s name. Honestly? I forgot. SK fail, right? Even more awkward was when BRUCE remembered my principal’s name. In my defense, Bruce had an unfair advantage (it turns out my principal’s name was Mr. Bowen….but hey, if my principal was named Mr. Khan, I’d probably remember that too.)
Anyway, aside from bullet point-worthy conversation, we also talk about our careers in the broadcast industry, and where we’d like to go (gasp! We talked about real issues?!) But that stuff isn’t fun to blog about, so I’ll end this now. But speaking of my career… if you didn’t happen to click on the “WATCH” link above when I suggested it, feel free to watch my demo reel below… (yes, I understand this is a shameless plug.)
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