Just recently we got the chance to hear from Dakota Elder and were fortunate to document his success story. You can read below to find out how the famous influencer got started and his trials along the way.
Dakota Elders’ Story
I grew up in a small town in Utah called Smithfield. I never got to see my parents together because they were divorced before I was 1. I have 1 older full brother and 5 step and half-siblings. I lived with my older brother and my Dad in Smithfield until I was 15. I grew up very poor and couldn’t even afford school lunch.
When I was 15 my dad died after suffering from cancer. I never had friends because I always came home to take care and spend time with my dad. After my dad died I was in shock and shut down completely and never talked to anyone or made any friends until I was in my 20s. The only ways I coped with this was playing basketball non-stop.
When I was 21 I was selected to be on American Ninja Warrior where I easily beat the first round. Then after the show, the producers from American Ninja Warrior called me on the phone and told me they had a new show they wanted to bring me on called The Dunk King! So I went on national TV wearing my dad’s high school jersey as a tribute to my dad. Shaq and Dr. J loved the retro jersey.
After the Dunk King I became a professional basketball dunker and moved to Los Angeles where I got to meet and hang with everyone from Drake, Chris Brown, Master P, DJ Khaled, lil pump, and was able to play basketball with NBA and NFL stars. While out in Los Angeles I acted in Commercials, Modeled for Nike, and played basketball at Lebron James Space Jam house, I even helped Red Bull launch their basketball niche and starred in commercials for Red Bull. Where I broke my ribs filming my last commercial with them.
This gave me a lot of free time where I decided to start posting to TikTok. I started off quick gaining 400k followers in the first month and then earned my first 1 million followers in less than 100 days. Which I thought was fast but I then gained another million followers in under a week!
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