Arian Foster plays pickup basketball with regular Houstonians: Sports' most-grounded star strikes again

Jul 05, 2012 | by Chris Baldwin, houston.culturemap.com

Arian Foster doesn't put on airs. Unless, it's Air Jordans maybe — and he's asking you to come hoop with him.

Foster — the best running back in the NFL, a newly-minted $43 million NFL superstar on the rise — made a bunch of regular, everyday Houstonians' Fourth of July when he sent out an open call on Twitter to come play basketball with him. When Foster first tweeted for players, many had trouble believing it.

After all, professional athletes don't play hoops with regular schlubs. Unless, they're Arian Foster.

When someone tweeted back at Foster, questioning if he was serious, the Houston Texans running back tweeted back a quick, "Serious as a Goodell fine." That would be NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, whose hefty fines are already legendary.

Foster is even funny when he's making a hoops point. And generous. Foster offered to pay the $10 entrance fee for anyone who heeded his call for players and showed up at 24 Hour Fitness on Westheimer and Chimney Rock.

You and I might think the whole thing is unusual. But to Foster, it's a natural reaction to showing up to hoop at an open gym and finding the place empty. Foster doesn't have an entourage to call on to run with him. So he calls on Houston.

And his adopted city didn't let him down. A number of people showed up to play pickup ball with the NFL star, sending a photos of Foster with his impromptu, Twitter-sourced crew rocketing around the Internet. And how did Foster's basketball buddies look?

Pretty much like you'd expect. These weren't professional athlete bodies coming to play with him. They're the type of guys — and women — you'd run into playing ball at the Y or a local gym.

Ones who got the unexpected thrill of a lifetime courtesy of a most unconventional NFL star.

"Best July 4th ever," Tommy Huynh tweeted after answering Foster's call for players.

Earlier this offseason, the Texans tailback took two fans with him to the Houston Rodeo. What's next? A mini golf outing?

With Arian Foster, you never know.

Tags: Arian Foster , Houston Texans