A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Mason’s Biggest Fan Finalist Joe Little: The Bench Warmer

By Leah Kerkman Fogarty on July 12, 2010

Currently living in California, Joe Little tries to get back to campus a couple times a year. Here, he snaps a shot with the Mason statue.

Joe Little: The Bench Warmer

Before the Final Four, there was the slaughter of Delaware State in 1995. This game might not be imprinted in the minds of many Mason basketball fans, but for Joe Little, it was one of his most memorable college experiences. He was a small forward on George Mason University’s men’s basketball team—but he rode the bench.

But in the final minute against the Hornets, Little put one in for 2 points. The game had long been determined a Mason victory, but it was the only 2 points Little posted in his career.

“When I scored, it was easily the loudest the crowd got during the game,” says Little, who graduated in 1998 with a BA in Speech Communication. “It is one of the proudest, happiest moments of my life.”

He currently lives in Chula Vista, California, with his wife (also a Mason grad) and two sons. Their children’s namesake? Little’s alma mater, of course.

“Mason Alexander Little turns 4 this December,” Little says. But he says his wife and he had a dilemma when she got pregnant last year.

“We were going to name him Tyler but we couldn’t decide on the middle name,” explains Little. “I fought hard to name him Tyler Michael after my father. My wife wanted Tyler Kenneth after her father. Neither of us would budge. Finally, she suggested Tyler George. I was immediately sold.”

Favorite Mason Memory:

My sophomore year, I was walking out of SUB I with one of my friends. After we separated outside, I headed down the steps and he headed over to a group of people near the ATM. That group included this redheaded girl I had been staring at all semester. I never had the guts to go up to her and say, “Hey, how ya doin?” Have you ever had one of those moments where you instantly had an idea? As I headed toward the steps, I looked back and knew I was going to get my friend to introduce us. Just as I took that double take, I tumbled down the steps. Everyone saw except the redhead. We had lunch the next day. We had lunch every day at Mason until I graduated. We got married in 2000 and will celebrate our tenth anniversary this month.

Why People Should Vote For You:

My whole life is Mason: My family; my career; my education. I wear a GMU green lanyard to work everyday. Because I am a television reporter for the ABC affiliate in San Diego, that lanyard has made more than a thousand appearances on local television. I think that’s worth a hefty kickback in advertising revenue.

My home office has two Mason rugs; pennants; and bobbleheads of Gunston, the Patriot, Doc Nix, and Coach L. My and my wife’s diplomas hang on our walls. My plaque naming me the Department of Communication Outstanding Alumnus for 2009-2010 hangs nearby. My GMU Alumni license plate frame graces all three of our cars—including my work car. The mousepads on two computers are from Mason; some cufflinks and tie tacks are from Mason; my flip flops are from Mason; and my favorite colors are green and gold. Ask my son, Mason.

I wouldn’t be me without Mason. My family wouldn’t be my family without Mason. I love Mason.

Please check the blog on Monday, July 19, to vote for Joe Little for Mason’s Biggest Fan.

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