#BestYourself Episode 1: Grayson Boucher aka The Professor aka Basketball’s Spiderman
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Grayson Boucher aka The Professor is a 5’10” basketball player who has never played a minute in the NBA but has a bigger following than many NBA players. He’s been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the lead actor in a film with Ludacris and Academy Award winner Melisa Leo, one of the biggest reasons why “Streetball” is one of ESPN’s most popular shows ever, appeared in numerous commercials, traveled around the world, playing alongside NBA legends like Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady, and most recently he’s been the star and co-creator of one of the most popular viral sports video series of the year – Spiderman Basketball.
The first Spiderman video has accumulated almost 7 million views in the past few weeks, with part two reaching over a quarter of a million in just 48 hours. With all of this hoopla, you would expect Grayson, who is busy preparing for a celebrity game full of popular actors, musicians and pro athletes this Saturday in Dallas, to have an attitude as bad as the ankle injuries he delivers on the court. Surprisingly, Grayson is as humble and hard working at 29 as he was when he was 19 and trying to make a name for himself as an underdog who had to fight a lot of stereotypes and battles before earning the respect of his peers.
We caught up with Grayson in Cali where he brought us to the gym to watch his intense workouts, and then to one of his free basketball clinics that he put on for his community and kids under the age of 18. Aside from the fundamentals on the court, Grayson’s clinic teaches the kids life lessons and the importance of making yourself a better person off the court.
Class is always in session when the Professor is around…
“We start each day with a new opportunity. A chance to be better than the day before. For me it wasn’t easy, I didn’t follow the crowd, didn’t try to be like everyone else. I was just me and that’s when my journey began.”
“When you’re on this journey you’ll have failures but you’ll also have successes. What matters most is you’re willing to work harder, think bigger, be yourself, only better everyday. So there are two ways to think about this, there’s the world around you and how it affects you then there’s how you affect the world because when each of us gets better we all get better.”
“So forget about the competition. Forget about the circumstances. We can’t control those things. What you can control is: You. You can challenge yourself, push yourself, best yourself. And at the end of the day, the only question left to ask yourself is: What are you going to do next?” – Nick Cannon
Grayson “The Professor” Boucher is arguably the most recognizable face in streetball. He first made a name for himself on the popular And1 Mixtapes and ESPN show “Streetball” in 2004 and in the past 9 years he’s been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the lead actor in a film with Ludacris and Academy Award winner Melisa Leo, appeared in numerous commercials, played in international exhibition games alongside NBA legends like Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady, and most recently been the star of a series of viral videos and travelled around the nation as part of the Ballup Streetball Tour.
Bobby Brown is a 28 year old professional basketball player that has played for the Kings, Timberwolves, Hornets and Clippers. He also played overseas and earlier this year he won the Euroleague Alphonso Ford Trophy, an award given to the league’s Best Scorer. Not just a scorer, the former California State University player also was 3rd in the Euroleague in assists and 9th in blocks even though he’s only 6’2!
Nicknamed “The Dunk Inventor” and known to most of the dunk and Youtube community as “the best contest dunker in the world,” Kenny Dobb’s videos have accumulated millions of online views and built a fanbase that even includes many NBA players. He even had LeBron James and Kobe Bryant congratulate him after his see-it-to-believe-it performance at the 2012 Sprite Showdown contest that took place during NBA All-Star weekend. When he’s not putting on international dunk exhibitions or appearing in commercials, Dobbs is conducting basketball clinics and visiting high schools to talk to kids about the importance of hard work, education and staying out of trouble.
They call Myree Bowden “Reemix” because of his ability to remix and liven up events. Starting with his memorable appearance in the 2003 NCAA Slam Dunk Contest, Reemix has been showing off his talents with everybody from The Harlem Globetrotters to the TV show SlamBall to the NBA Nation tour where he serves as an All-Star judge and host of the Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown tour. Not just a performer, Mr Bowden, as his school students call him, spends time as physical trainer and teacher when he’s not on a basketball tour.
6’10” Shawn Kemp and Blake Griffin are known as 2 of the best NBA dunkers of all-time. The other thing they have in common is 5’10 Haneef “Young Hollywood” Munir performed a between the legs dunk OVER both of them this past summer. Staying true to his name, aside from his Sportscenter appearances, Hollywood has also been casted in a lot of national TV commercials and ad campaigns and is the co-owner of basketball talent agency. Next stop for the half-time human highlight will probably be full length Hollywood films.