LYNCHBURG, Va. — Fans always see college basketball players on the court during the season.
But, what does life look like for these athletes away from the court? Nowadays, more and more athletes are taking to social media to showcase their lives away from the court, giving fans a deeper insight into their day-to-day life.
With Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, and even Facebook to an extent still, fans have more and more access and insight into a player’s life away from the court. From classes to workouts, and bus trips to practices, fans can learn a lot from what players share on social media in their spare time.
For starters, you’ve got Isaiah Tripp, who owns and operates his own YouTube channel entitled Tripp Talk. He has taken fans inside the Abilene Christian Wildcats’ men’s basketball program, while also showcasing his family life away from the hardwood. Since the 2017-18 season started, Tripp has seen his number of subscribers skyrocket, reaching close to 3,000.
Tripp’s most popular videos? A Day in the Life of a Division I athlete.
Now, you can add another player to the list of those who are taking their fans behind the scenes on YouTube, as junior guard Ryan Hiepler launched his own series on Saturday afternoon.
Hiepler, a junior guard for the Liberty Flames, launched a pilot episode for his new YouTube series, entitled ‘Hiep and Hoop’. On the channel’s Twitter account (@HiepandHoop), the series is described as a ‘daily vlog…documenting life in the mid-major sports landscape.’
He also goes on to throw a little bit of shade at the NCAA, stating ‘I’m not making any money off of this so chill.’
In the channel’s first episode, Hiepler gave fans a look into the Flames’ day on February 16th, as they were coming off a thrilling overtime victory on the road over the UNC Asheville Bulldogs. It all got started with the team breakfast, and progresses throughout the day.
You’re even treated to a potentially life-changing way to eat a banana with peanut butter and jelly.
We’ll leave the judgment on that up to you.
The idea for the channel stems from Ryan’s younger brother, Paul Hiepler, who plays at Abilene Christian with Tripp.
Hiepler hopes to give fans a raw look into the life of a Division I athlete at the mid-major level in the NCAA. With the Flames in the thick of things in the Big South Conference as the regular season is coming to a close, you can bet that he will have some interesting content the rest of the way and into the post-season.
The Flames take on the Campbell Fighting Camels on Sunday afternoon in Buies Creek, North Carolina.
– T. Bennett
Check out the pilot episode of Hiep and Hoop here: