ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Lobo basketball recruit Jarion Henry incessantly uses Twitter, a practice that will end when he arrives at UNM
“twitter is a Drug”
— Jarion Henry (Twitter account, @Mr_6_10), July 8, 2011
View Mark Smith’s Oct. 10th column on Twitter: “Twitter Mostly For Twits.”
If Twitter indeed is a drug — as probable future Lobo Jarion Henry claims — he had better hope there’s a 12-step program for tweet-oholics somewhere in the Duke City.
His prolific use of Twitter, after all, is probably coming to a crashing halt soon.
Henry — a 6-foot-9 forward who signed a national letter of intent last spring to play basketball for New Mexico — is a self-proclaimed future NBA player out of Dallas’ Kimball High. “I’m going to The League. Remember I said this, one and done,” he said this spring on a YouTube video that created a stir for other reasons. He also has stated on his Twitter account that he is a “one in a million” player bound for the NBA.
Henry’s senior season stats, according to one website: 15 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists per game. His Twitter stats, according to Twitter: 4,793 tweets and 770 followers, as of Saturday afternoon, on an account that he opened in 2009. On Tuesday alone, Henry tweeted 127 times, by one count.
Meanwhile, he remains in Dallas taking two summer-school courses and trying to gain his college eligibility.
Once Henry enrolls at New Mexico, “he will not be allowed a Twitter account,” UNM men’s basketball coach Steve Alford told the Journal via a hand-written faxed note.
Alford says he does not allow any Lobos to have Twitter accounts. He does allow Facebook accounts and says someone in his program monitors them.
Asked via text earlier in the week for his thoughts on Alford’s no-Twitter rule, Henry did not respond.
On his account Thursday, however, he tweeted, “Whatever i tweet is just a Freedom of Speech” followed by an expletive.
When asked again by the Journal on Thursday night if Alford’s rule would be a problem for him, Henry responded, “leave me alone,” with another expletive.
Later that evening, Henry sent an unsolicited text saying, “Naw Im good..All i gotta say is when i get to UNM my Twitter acc. Will be deleted”
Twitter is a social networking public website. It enables its users to send and read messages called “tweets” — text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the user’s profile page.
According to Wikipedia, Twitter, which was created in 2006, has an estimated 200 million users worldwide, generates 200 million tweets and handles over 1.6 billion search queries per day.
A tweet goes out to everyone on that person’s list of followers. If you choose to follow someone, you can get all of that person’s tweets — on your smart phones or computers, for example.
National news personalities, entertainment and professional sports stars typically have the biggest Twitter audiences, some in the millions. Some, like Lance Armstrong and Shaquille O’Neal, have used their accounts to break news.
Alford, who has his own Twitter account but hasn’t posted since September, knows what information about his program he wants to make public, and what information he doesn’t. Trusting loose-lipped college kids to be on the same page obviously is not his plan.
UNM’s other three incoming freshman have or had Twitter accounts: Alford’s son, walk-on Kory Alford, hasn’t posted since UNM began summer school in early June.
Dominique Dunning deleted his account once enrolling at UNM.
Hugh Greenwood still has a Twitter account but isn’t expected to enroll at UNM until next month. The standout point guard recently played for his native Australia in the Under-19 FIBA World Championships in Riga, Latvia, making first team all-tournament after averaging 17.1 points, 2.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds a game.
Greenwood’s tweets are mostly about his hoop travels. Two of his most recent read “Thanks to everyone for their support!” and “(Latvia) Was an awesome experience these past few weeks and also a lot of fun! big thanks to everyone involved.”
As of Saturday, Greenwood had 290 followers and had sent out a total of 47 tweets. Going tweet-less should be easy for him.
For Henry, going cold-turkey might be more of a problem.
After learning that the Journal was working on a story about Alford’s no-Twitter rule, Henry tweeted “Sorry to all my Followers for Being Lame the Media In NM is always on my (expletive) aint got nothing better else to do.”
One, or 4,700, and done
Some of Henry’s tweets are vulgar or use expletives, and this after he created controversy with the aforementioned YouTube video in which he used the “N-word” numerous times while pronouncing himself available to all sorts of women. Soon after that, he said he was just “fooling around” when making the video and insisted he would “turn (people’s opinions) around.”
But even more than the profane, Henry’s offerings could be regarded as inane. And incessant.
Some of his followers appear to be UNM Lobo fans who signed on when they wanted to know where Henry was going to play college basketball. This past spring, Henry was being recruited to varying degrees by Georgetown, Marquette, Kentucky, USC, Oregon and SMU in addition to UNM.
In early April, Henry said he would sign a national letter of intent with his choice of school on April 13. But he kept fans and coaches hanging.
He finally announced his choice of UNM on April 24 on TV in Dallas.
Henry followers ballooned again after his video hit YouTube. He then cut off access to new followers. But he was apparently back on the Twitter recruiting trail last week. On Monday he tweeted that “I need to get to 800 followers by Friday any S/O” and sent another tweet out saying “I lost two followers”.
Alford did not respond to the Journal when asked whether he or any other UNM coach is monitoring Henry’s tweeting.
In any case, all of the tweeting will end soon, when — and if — Henry becomes eligible to get into UNM.
Last week, Alford said, “we are not sure on Jarion’s eligibility as yet; he is finishing class work.”
— This article appeared on page D1 of the Albuquerque Journal