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The Rebels’ Justin Hawkins raises the bar for Twitter conversations

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV’s Justin Hawkins waits for teammates to catch up while taking in the sights before their game against McGill University Tuesday, August 21, 2012 in Montreal.

Last week I met with UNLV basketball coach Dave Rice in his office, just an informal interview to catch up on things and get ready for the Scarlet/Gray Showcase, which is two weeks from today.

One of the things I asked about was Twitter and, specifically, if he would create any kind of guidelines or restrictions for the Rebels. Several coaches, including UNLV football coach Bobby Hauck, ban their players from the social-media site during the season. They say it’s a distraction.

Rice said he’s not going to do anything differently. Twitter, he said, is part of the learning process. Occasionally some players are going to tweet something they or Rice will wish they hadn’t, and they’ll all grow from there. No reason to hide from it.

I bring this up because this morning was the best example I’ve ever seen of a UNLV student-athlete, or maybe any athlete, taking time to elevate the conversation on Twitter.

At 9:18 this morning, senior guard Justin Hawkins (@Hawk_31) tweeted a warning that he was about to go on a rant. What followed could not be contained to 140 characters. Over the next hour, Hawkins sent out 43 tweets totaling 899 words that started a commentary on his own generation and ended somewhere around conquering your own fear of failure.

Because I thought it was so good, I present it to you here, unedited, so that Hawkins’ thoughts won’t simply disappear into the twitterverse. I think it’s worth your time:

There's leaders that are meant to be followers and followers that are meant to be leaders

We have people in this world that won't reach their full potential because they don't want to leave their friends behind

Many of us talk about being rich. Having all this money, cars, clothes, houses, etc. In my eyes I just see that you're broke

My generation wants that fast money. Don't want to work for anything. Everything has to be given to them.

We can sit back and blame the previous generation for teaching us that. Soon we have to take responsibility for our own actions.

We say we are responsible. Yet most of us do illegal things on a daily basis. That doesn't how responsibility at all.

We applaud the local drug dealers and pimps because they drive fancy cars & have all this money.

On the flip side bash the Doctors or lawyers to-be as "brainiacs" or "know it alls" because they get an education and use it

I met a kid last week that said "I wanted to be a Pet Dr. but my friends said that wasn't cool enough so I changed my mind."

When that kid told me that it broke my heart. No kid should have their dreams crushed. Every kid should have many dreams.

No parent or adult should shove off their reality onto a child. They should uplift children and help them succeed. Not to tear them down.

Whenever I see a kid and they asked me how I got to where I am. I tell them " with an education and believing in myself"

"In order for me to grow I had to let go of some bad habits" one of the realist lines I ever heard in my life.

Bad habits aren't just actions you may do. They do also include people who are bad for you and keep you in a certain habit/pattern

Idc how much you love me & got my back. If you are in the same place now and when I met you. That's a BIG problem. It's time for you to grow

People are scared to grow because it involves change Change is good if you do it right 1 simple change in your life can have a ripple effect

People are stunned to see their friends in a higher position than them and ask what happened. They just made one simple change and took off

They say yours 20s is when you should be selfish. Okay that's fine but don't be stupid and forget you have your 30s 40s 50s 60s 70s 80s

Enjoy your life there is nothing wrong with that. Y'all can play now and work for someone else later. Eventually it will all catch up

Have a healthy balance of work and play. Everyone definitely needs it.

Failure is apart of life. Everyone fails. Everyone gets rejected. So when it happens just get up wipe your tears and go out and try again

Many successful people have learned more from their failures than their successes.

People won't even try to accomplish something because they don't want to fail. Now that's just absurd.

People ask me "how come I only hang out with people that want to be the best in their field. Doesn't that make you look bad?"

You have to surround yourself with people that want to be the best. They push you to reach your potential and you push them.

Why hang out with someone who wants to be mediocre? That boggles my mind. Just being average in life.

I honestly believe that everyone has been put on this earth to make a difference. No matter how big or small.

I'm gonna be 22 next week. I constantly ask myself, "how have I made a difference?"

I just pray that some of my friends who I see so much potential in just turn their lives around.

People are only willing to help you if you help yourself

I lend my hand out to everyone who needs help. That's just my character. If you abuse it I will walk away and wish you nothing but the best

Be positive in all your actions. No one wants a Debbie Downer around. Just kills the whole mood.

I'm always positive no matter what happened. I find the positive in everything. It may be cliche but it helps

I've came close to hitting rock bottom. I remained positive and kept a steady pace moving forward and up.

The only time you see me without a smile on my face is when I'm in deep thought.

Smiles are contagious. Your smile might brighten someone else's day.

When I see people stress out or shown concern in public. Always tell them that everything will be alright.

The light at the end of the tunnel will continue to get brighter and brighter. Just keep pushing

Just hope that the words I spoke today reach people all over. Share with your friends and families. Who knows it may help.

I pray that I my loved ones are proud of me. Helping me become the man I am each and every day.

"Take risks; if you wait until you are ready, you're too late"

Always remember to pay it forward. Be more selfless than selfish.

Everyone hope the rest of your day is amazing. My rant is officially over lol

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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  1. That is some good stuff. J-Hawk represents the Rebels with class.

  2. I love J-Hawk! Wise beyond his years. A great guy on and off the floor. He's got a very bright future ahead of him, regardless if he ever plays basketball again once he finishes his senior year.

  3. He was already my favorite Rebel before this...