Michael Eckhardt from Tucson, AZ: My Homepage
Michael Eckhardt lives in Tucson, where he has been based for most of his 33 years. He went to college at the University of Arizona and earned his computer science degree there. Even though he lived near Phoenix for five years, Tucson has always held a special place in his heart, and he still maintains close ties with the University of Arizona and its sports teams.
The good thing about living in your old college town is that you get to reconnect with old friends and professors a lot. Arizona has always been a progressive university; the faculty teaches us to think for ourselves, and debating with friends about sports and politics is always interesting because we all bring something to the table. Whenever I visit the U of A, I also marvel at how much it has retained its old college character, even with all the new buildings that are being built around campus. It’s like seeing an old friend aging gracefully and discovering something new every time.
Another good thing about Tucson is that, being a college town, it’s easy to find people who are willing to work on the next big thing. Arizona is slowly becoming recognized as a home for start-ups, and Tucson is in the middle of that growth. I joined GoDaddy.com in Scottsdale, near Phoenix, when it was just a small company in 2003; now, it’s the largest domain name registry in the country. The rise of GoDaddy.com is, in many ways, also the story of Arizona; we started out in the desert, now, we’re here.
This same tenacious desert spirit can be found in the U of A sports teams, known as the Wildcats. Our football team might have performed below expectations this season, but our men’s basketball team has played like a contender in the very competitive Pac-12 conference. As of mid-January, they are 5-0 in conference play and have beaten Cal, Stanford, and our rival, Arizona State; coach Sean Miller has really done a fantastic job recruiting and drawing up plays for the team. There are twelve Arizona alumni currently on NBA rosters, including 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala. Golden State head coach Steve Kerr also played for Arizona in college, along with 51 others who have already retired, so there isn’t really any doubt that Arizona is one of the top basketball schools in the NCAA.
I make it a point to watch as many Arizona Wildcats home games as I can. More than just feeling school spirit, there’s always the feeling that I’m about to see the next big NBA star developing his game. I was lucky enough, for example, to watch Andre Iguodala, Richard Jefferson, and Gilbert Arenas playing for Arizona while I was still studying there. After coming back from Scottsdale, I saw another class of fresh talent – T.J. McConnell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Aaron Gordon, and Solomon Hill – polishing their game at Arizona. If you’re a college basketball fan, the up-tempo style of the Wildcats will get you hooked.
Anyway, I’ll be talking more about Arizona Wildcats sports, the University of Arizona, and the city of Tucson here. Keep this page bookmarked!