If the casual fan ever met unassuming 22-year-old Theotis Beasley, chances are they wouldn't believe that he is one of the nation’s fastest rising professional athletes, and already has endorsement deals with Nike, Mountain Dew and Skull Candy.
But don't get it twisted. The lean 6-foot 1-inch kid from Inglewood, CA, might not boast about his abilities like his good friend and rap superstar Lil Wayne does, but behind that cool Cali demeanor lies a silent swag that was earned by years of hard work.
Remember, it's the quiet ones you have to watch out for.
Theotis sat down with BET.com to talk about how he first got into skateboarding, his friendship with Weezy and how hip hop has changed the face of a sport that used to be associated mostly with white and punk rock culture.
His journey begins at a family get together when a then 15-year-old Theotis was just about to leave when his cousin showed him something that would forever alter his path.
"I was leaving, he told me to come outside he had a skateboard," recalled Theotis. "He did a kick-flip with it, before I even knew what that was. I was like 'Did you glue your shoe to the board?' Cause the board stayed attached to his feet."
He added, "Ever since then I asked him for a board and started skating."
Though he didn't know it at the time, Theotis was onto something bigger. Skateboarding and hip hop started becoming more intertwined when popular recording artists like Pharrell, Lil' Wayne and Lupe Fiasco began shouting it out in their music.
"A lot of artists skateboard that you wouldn't even think of," noted Theotis. "YG is one, Lil Wayne is a good friend of mine, we did a Mountain Dew commercial together and he'll perform a show, and then afterward go skate until like five or six in the morning, like he's really serious about it," he remembered. "People thought it was cool, but most people thought it was a white boy sport," adding that even his family was curious about his new endeavor. "My mom was like, 'Why do you want to get into skateboarding?' In middle school I always played basketball, but gradually more and more people started skateboarding."
With skateboarding growing in popularity, Theotis hopes that one day he can showcase his skills on the ultimate stage.
"I could see skateboarding becoming an Olympic sport," noting the comparisons to snowboarding, which is in the Winter Olympics. "We got Street League, which is a big contest and they teamed up with X Games, so I could definitely see it being in the Olympics one day."
And while Beasley’s sole focus right now is on becoming the best at his craft, the Street League star also revealed that he might be collaborating on a business venture in the near future.
"After this next album [Lil Wayne] said he's gonna retire and just skate. He really loves it. He wants to start a sunglass company together."
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(Photo: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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