Known by a single name

A look into Elder athletes who go by only one name.

Lebron. Kobe. Obama. Messi.

The list of prominent people in our world that are referred by only one name could go on forever. If we were to refer to these names listed above, a majority of the world would have little to no problem identifying each and every one of these people. Why is this? Is our society too lazy to use both the first and last name when referring to these people? Maybe. However, I believed there was an underlying reason for this title shortage, so I decided to look to the halls of our own school to discover the people who find themselves in this same predicament and profile them.

I was lucky enough to catch up with two Panther all-stars in senior Austin Bass and senior Luke Flowers. For many, this might be the first time seeing either of those first names written out. You may refer to these men as “Bass” or “Flo/Flow” respectively. I couldn’t let this golden opportunity of one-namedness within our walls to go unnoticed, so I sat down with both of them to ask them some quick questions.

Austin Bass (left) posing with Sam Whitmer (right) after Cincinnati’s AAC Championship win.

I started off by talking to one of the most domineering yet gentle souls in our entire school: Austin Bass.

Austin, a four-year varsity football dresser, was willing and eager to answer all of the questions I threw his way. I started off by simply asking what were the chain of events that led to people forgoing his first name for a last-only approach. He claimed that it, “kind of started through sports in grade school and stuck. Once one person called me it, everyone kind of just followed suit.” There is no doubt that “Bass” is a much more time efficient and effective way to call him as it only has one syllable (compared to two syllables with “Austin”). However, one must feel bad for the first portion of his name. As mentioned before, those not close with Bass may not even know Austin is his first name. I asked him if it was a sacrifice to forgo his first name. He didn’t see it as much of a sacrifice or a slight towards him in anyway. Instead, he saw it as a unique distinction from his peers.

Luke Flowers runs by a defender in a game against Lasalle (via WLWT)

I wrapped up the second of my two interviews with first-team GCL running back, Luke Flowers. Luke and I have known each other for a long time, and I have even adopted my own spin on his name-calling in the form of Lucas. I have not fallen into the trap of many of my classmates when they reference this wonderful soul as Flo. Flo? Flow? The world may never know. I could not get confirmation on the spelling, but I was able to find out how this nickname came about. It was along the same line as Bass as Luke claimed that “In grade school, people just decided to call me Flo since my last name is Flowers. I have no idea about the date when it started.” For some, nicknames take time and effort. For others, like Flo, you wake up with it. I also asked him if he missed the name Luke as barely anyone calls him that, and he said that he didn’t because Flo was much more unique to him as a person.

The final question I asked both of these young scholars was simply, “does your family and close friends refer to you by your first name. Austin was the first to respond as he said, “Yes, my family all refers to me as Austin, but it catches me off guard sometimes when someone outside of my family calls me by my first name.” It was the same type of story for Luke as he claimed, “My close friends call me Flo for the most part, but my family still calls me Luke.”

No doubt, this name dilemma has left its mark on Elder forever. While both of these names may not matter in the long-run, the general population of Elder has carved a way into the memories of both of these young men forever.