Renowned YouTuber Nelson Chan has inked a deal with the Macau Black Bears to be the team’s local point guard for the tenth season of the ASEAN Basketball League.
The man behind the popular “Hoop and Life” channel on YouTube shares to the ABL his love for basketball culture and how he manages his time as a vlogger and a professional athlete.
“Mr. Hoop and Life”
Chan was born in Macau but spent the majority of his life in the States with his family. He embraced his Asian heritage at a young age while being able to experience the American lifestyle.
“Being born in Macau, but raised in the USA was such a crazy experience because I got to see both cultures in-depth whereas most people just know one or the other. They might know surface level stuff from the other side, but I was deep in both worlds,” Chan shared.
Living in the States, basketball culture was felt everywhere and it led him to embrace the game quickly. With his passion for the sport, he began to establish his own YouTube channel, Hoop and Life, which focuses on bringing basketball lifestyle content to the online community – whether it may be reviewing the latest basketball sneakers available in the market, showing clips of him playing pick-up games, or even delivering funny basketball content.
“I am a basketball craze,” he explained. “Whether I’m playing it, watching it, or even making videos about them, I just love the game. I am a basketball, sneaker, and lifestyle YouTuber that makes videos on and off the court and I’m very passionate about doing it just like playing the game itself.”
Although he’s dedicated his life to the game of basketball, Chan has always dreamed of becoming a professional athlete. As far-fetched as this dream might seem, an opportunity to fulfill it would soon come to him.
The professional basketball dream
At a young age, Chan has always envisioned himself playing professional basketball.
“I always dreamed of playing professional basketball. As every hooper, [I grew up] watching the NBA, thinking that one day, that’s going to be me,” Chan recalled. With the dream seemingly unattainable, he never stopped believing that he’d make it to the professional stage. As the NBA was fully beyond his reach, the next best option appeared to him: take his talents overseas.
Later on, he received news from his friends that there will be a team playing in the ABL based in his home state of Macau. He then started following the league religiously, and hearing how big of a fanbase it has, it rekindled his dream of playing professionally.
“I have a couple of friends who were playing in the ABL and I’ve always asked them about their journey and experiences playing pro ball,” Chan continued. “Then I started to follow the ABL and their journeys respectively. Then they mentioned to me that Macau was going to have a pro team, and being of [Chinese] nationality I knew I had to go for it.”
The boyhood dream would come true.
The Macau Black Bears announced that the YouTuber has finalized a deal with them to join the roster for the 2019-2020 ABL season.
Life as a Macau Black Bear
As seen in one of his vlogs, Chan decided to move to Macau to live out his basketball dream. During his stay in his hometown, not only did he get to experience the culture, but he was also able to spend time with his teammates and the rest of the Black Bears staff.
“My stay in Macau has been nothing but amazing. It is my hometown, I was born here, I speak the language, the people and food here are great. All my teammates, coaches, and the rest of the staff were very welcoming and are just great people,” Chan said about his time in Macau.
Introducing himself to the ABL community, he shared about the things that fans should expect in his game, “My role on the team is to do whatever is needed to help the team win. Whether that is to score, pass, dive for a loose ball, take a charge, be a pest on defense, I would do whatever it takes to help my team be successful in the upcoming season.”
Despite being only 5’7” tall, the incoming Macau point guard looks to defy the odds of his size disadvantage in the professional scene and looks to inspire other aspiring athletes.
“Being only 5’7”, I was always looked down upon, but that only motivated me further and [drove] me to be the best that I can be to overcome all the doubt and negativity,” Chan said.
Balancing both worlds
For him, being a vlogger and a professional basketball player at the same time has its own sets of difficulties and obstacles. Although he seems to have a lot of responsibilities that almost always require his attention, he is slowly adjusting to his new lifestyle by spending his time wisely.
“It was a bit tough in the beginning having to do everything on my own and not having my production team with me, and also not having the same amount of time due to playing pro ball, but I just got to stay on top of both worlds, and really have to manage my time efficiently,” Chan mentioned.
Although he sacrifices much of his quality time, Chan will always take the time to express himself through vlogging.
Chan appended, “I love doing YouTube because it shows multiple sides of my personality. I always had a big personality with a lot of charisma and you can see it on the court as well from the way I play.”
Expectations in the ABL
As the famous YouTuber is set to make his debut in the ABL, Chan’s biggest goal is to bring the Macau Black Bears a title.
“My ultimate goal for my ABL debut is to do whatever it is to help my team bring home that championship at the end—that is my ultimate goal,” Chan answered. “As long as I know [that] I gave it my best, that’s the best way I see it, whether it’s in basketball or life.”
Even though their team opts for a ‘small ball’ centric style of basketball, he said that their intensity stands out—playing with strength and agility to close out a victory. “Height-wise, yes. We might be much shorter than other teams, but we play physical and big. We are both fast and play big inside,” he said.
“I think that with the guys that we have, we can be exciting and make some noise in the upcoming season.”
In his professional debut, Chan looks to make the most out of his opportunity. “I want to play as long as I am capable of, and make the most out of it every step of the way,” he mentioned.
Not only will he play with a lot of hustle and heart during the games, Mr. Hoop and Life also looks to bring his signature swag, and sneakers, into the ASEAN Basketball League.
“I’ve always been a huge sneaker guy, I got to show out!” he happily exclaimed.
“I’m going to go after that sneaker king crown!”