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‘What’s up, fellas?’: Tom Brady, Bucs drop in on a high school basketball team’s group chat

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

When a Michigan freshman was left in charge of creating a group chat for his high school basketball team, one erroneous number landed the group a FaceTime with Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Vinny Tartaglia of Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy told local news outlet WDIV he was one digit off as he added the final number to the chat, thinking it was his teammate’s. That prompted a message from the mysterious recipient: “Ya’ll meant to add me to this? ... You know who I am?”

The person then revealed his identity: “I’m Sean Murphy-Bunting,” the Michigan native and Buccaneers cornerback texted back. Then he sent along a selfie from the team’s locker room.


The high schoolers reportedly didn’t believe him: “Everyone was skeptical, it’s definitely not an NFL player, right?” Tartaglia told the news outlet.

Murphy-Bunting then FaceTimed the group, offering a one-of-a-kind meet-and-greet around the Buccaneers locker room.

“[Running back] Leonard Fournette walked us through the locker room and showed us all the players,” said Nate Seaman, one of the high schoolers in the group chat. “Sean Murphy-Bunting, Mike Evans, Lavonte David, Gronk, Richard Sherman. That’s when we all said, where’s the GOAT?”

Star QB Tom Brady soon appeared on the screen, asking the kids: “What’s up, fellas?” At that point, the high schoolers “lost their minds,” Jason Whalen, a parent of one of the players, posted on Twitter.

“They didn’t have to do that for us,” Seaman said. “They could have easily said, ‘I’m going to leave the group chat’ and just left, but Murphy-Bunting and Fournette made our day.”

The call ended with a piece of advice from Murphy-Bunting: “Ball out this season.”

“What an awesome experience for our boys and what an amazing group of guys on the Buccaneers,” Whalen continued on Twitter. “I’m sure they had a good time laughing at the fact that the SuperBowl champs got randomly added to a freshman basketball team group chat.”


Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker.