The art of the dunk is beautiful. It requires time, grace, and power. Many try, and many fail, to get the ball over the 10-foot rim. One is quite literally in rarefied air. Good thing Jake and Pete Randall have frequent flyer passes. It’s hard to find the twins away from each other, but it’s even harder to find them without a basketball in their hands. Born one minute apart, the twins have been through everything together.
It wasn’t always this way for them. They always wanted to dunk, but couldn’t figure out the secret sauce.
Pete: “We spent way too much money on jumping programs. I came to realize that people just want to buy-in to something.”
Jake: “Our coach told us that we would never be able to dunk, so we initially had that fire to prove people wrong.”
Despite their height and their doubters, they took it as a challenge. The twins quickly came to realize there was a better way than going through weight lifting programs: actually going out and jumping.
P: “Go jump for two months, just five times a week. Don’t lift any weights. If you want to be a better shooter, you go out and shoot. Same with dunking. It’s all in the repetition.”
J: “Building off that, weights supplement the jumping. Just because you can lift a lot of weight doesn’t mean you can jump, at least not very high.”
After lots of practice, the repetition and dedication finally paid off for them. Jake got his first dunk down at 17, when he was a junior in high school, and Pete followed suit the summer before his senior year.
Jake lists himself as 6’ on the dot, while Pete is 5’10. Despite their modest frames, they now have a LOT of bounce.
Forgot my camera today so this is what I had sent to my phone. Just staying humble and hungry, all will take care of itself… @jbounce33 @22gang_ @jaysontatum22 @teamflightbrothers @_dunkbros @dunkademics @live2dunk @jordankilganon @tola.96 @luhdee5 #baskeball #dunk #workout #live2dunk #bouncekit #bounce #jump #dunkbros
J: “Getting my first dunk down, it wasn’t even the movement of dunking. It was being able to overcome any obstacle, whether it be the obstacle of my coaches or the people who said I could never do it. It was a signifying moment where all of the hard work I’ve been putting in, to achieve this…it finally paid off. It’s pretty basic what a dunk is, but it was the accomplishment of doing it.”
P: “I looked at it as a 3 year process of grinding and working. Dunking is the most addicting thing in the world. It’s a feeling of just being in the air, and doing things that not many people can do, it’s just unreal.”
They both decided to go to Rockhurst University in Kansas City, as preferred walk-ons with the basketball team. After practicing with the team for several months, their coach pulled them into his office and told them devastating news: they had been cut from the team.
This low point turned into a motivator. They became dedicated to the process of chasing their dream of being renowned dunkers.
J: “Dunking provided that outlet for us to still be interacting with basketball.”
What was once a hobby turned into a brand. At that time, they met the man that inspired the creation of the DunkBros: Shane Wyatt, a local dunking legend.
P: “I loved watching (Shane’s) videos and I wanted to be like him. He mentioned on his Facebook page that he was dunking in Kansas City and had nobody to dunk with. He asked if anyone wanted to come up and dunk with him. Me and Jake, we were like, ‘We can dunk! We aren’t very good at it, but I’m not playing basketball, so what do I have to lose?’”
That initial dunk session was all they needed.
P: “He told us that if we have that mentality, that we can be good at this, that we will be able to achieve great things. And that’s how DunkBros basically got started.”
The brand has taken them to a lot of different places. From Orlando to Phoenix, The Dunk Bros have gotten to dunk with everyone from their peers to renowned professional dunkers.
J: “The opportunities we are getting, it’s unreal.”
They had built up an initial platform through DunkBros, but as entrepreneurs, they saw more opportunity.
J: “We saw basketball parody videos created by BDotADot, and I thought, hey, I’m a relatively funny guy, I think I could make people laugh just like him.”
What happened next, they never would have dreamed of. Whistle Sports, Bleacher Report, and SPORT Bible began messaging them to ask for permission to post their early videos. A couple of their videos have since exceeded 1 million views.
From playing basketball to starting two companies, Jake and Pete are well on their way to making their mark as dunkers and entertainers.
Despite all of the initial successes, they still are predicated on two things: dunking and entertaining.
P: “Jake and I really care about this. We love to make people laugh. It’s not about the number of followers or likes, it’s about making people’s days better with our content. Making a positive impact, being the light in someone’s day.”
J: “We’re making an impact through basketball, and that’s another reason why we’re doing it.”
P: “We’ve lost money during the whole process. A lot of people want to be famous or successful so you can get money. They’re doing it for the wrong reasons. If you do it for those reasons, you aren’t going to be satisfied with what you are doing, and you’re not doing it right. We want to do it the right way.”
J: “I don’t want to compare myself to anyone else. I feel like I’m chasing a dream that I will never achieve, because that’s just how much I want to be successful. Guys don’t think that way. There’s nights I can’t sleep because I’m thinking about video ideas. The initial success we have had motivates me to want to do more.”
What’s next for them? Continuing to build up the Randall Twins brand. They want to expand to more than just basketball videos. They kept their ideas close to their chest, but they were noticeably excited about their future prospects.
J: “We have the potential to be bigger than all of the other entertainers out there.”
P: “We have a lot planned for the future.”
They definitely emulate most of the CRUSH factors, but which one would represent them the best? Uniqueness seems to fit the bill. They are twins, they are dunkers, and they are entrepreneurs. They are thinking differently, and are now taking the industry by storm.
It got back to that key word, we. They are invested in this together, and are well on their way.
Keep flying high, DunkBros.
Written by Will Bubenik, a basketball junkie, entrepreneur, and ever-learning human. Follow him on Twitter @Willverine55
Posted 3 November 2016