Just a couple weeks before Charlie Villanueva, who somewhat revolutionized NBA players on Twitter, racked up his 100,000th follower, his teammate and fellow 2009 Pistons free agent signee, Ben Gordon, arrived on the Twitter scene. Ben Gordon, or @bengordon8, started tweeting on July 18 and quickly started to raise questions about the number in his username, to which he replied that he was changing his number:â†µ
Yes! I am changing my # to 8!â†µ
But why the number change? Well, it turns out it's not Ben Gordon simply wanting a fresh start after a sub-par start to his five-year deal in Detroit. The No. 8 has significant sentimental value to Gordon.â†µ
8 for 8th aveâ†µ
Eighth Avenue is where Gordon grew up in Mount Vernon, New York. Every year Gordon gives back to his hometown by hosting a Ben Gordon weekend full of events, including a talent show, a YMCA playground visit, a free basketball clinic, an All-Star basketball game, a sports-career symposium and more. Recently, the sixth annual event took place. At the fifth annual event last year he donated $125,000 to renovate his childhood playground on Eighth Ave., which was renamed "The Ben Gordon New Life Playground."â†µ
Now, when Ben Gordon puts on his Pistons jersey, he won't only be representing the Pistons and No. 7, Ben Gordon -- he'll be paying homage to the city he's so clearly fond of and holds dear to his heart, no matter how rich and famous he's become.