YouTube Millionaires: Anthony Hamilton Jr. picks up star role in ‘White Men Can’t Jump’

By 05/18/2023
YouTube Millionaires: Anthony Hamilton Jr. picks up star role in ‘White Men Can’t Jump’

Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we–in partnership with content creator tool Gyre–profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each creator has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments here.

Anthony Hamilton Jr. had always loved basketball.

So, when he hit high school and made the varsity team with college prospects looking bright, he was thrilled.


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Then he tore his ACL. And his meniscus. And broke his tibia. His injuries–among the most devastating you can have as a basketball hopeful–sidelined him for three months. The day he came back to his high school team, “it happened again,” he says. Same leg. Same injury. It was his worst nightmare. This time, he had to sit out for a year, and doctors said that even if he healed up, he’d damaged his leg’s growth plate, and he was likely to have ongoing problems that would result in one leg being longer than the other, or even potentially in amputation, if things got severe enough. They warned him to be careful. They warned him not to go back to basketball.

To that, Hamilton had one thing to say: “Fuck it.”

He got better. He got back on the court. And now, after breaking records with Clemson track and field and playing basketball for Chicago State University, he’s become a full-time doer of all things. He started The Dunk Collective, runs a record label under his company THB, is working on a children’s book, and just hit a million followers on TikTok, which is one reason he’s this week’s Millionaire.

The other reason he’s this week’s Millionaire is because tomorrow, May 19, White Men Can’t Jump premieres on Hulu. The Calmatic-directed film is a 2023 remake of the 1992 classic, and stars Sinqua Walls, Jack Harlow–and Hamilton.

We’ll let him tell you all about it below.

@hamilt0njr @garyvee and I talked about my two knee surgeries and how to overcome adversity. #hamilt0njr ♬ original sound – Anthony Hamilton Jr

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Tubefilter: Pretend somebody’s reading this and they don’t know who you are. They’ve never seen your videos. Tell me a little bit about you and where you’re from.

Anthony Hamilton Jr.: My name is Anthony Hamilton Jr. I’m from Los Angeles, California. I grew up playing basketball at a young age. I wasn’t that good. I just used it as an outlet to stay out of trouble. School wasn’t really my thing. I don’t know if you want me to go into the whole life story thing. I can give you a long story, short story.

Tubefilter: Whatever you’re comfortable with. I just want people to see how you went from that kid to content.

Anthony Hamilton Jr.: Perfect. Long story short, I grew up in a single-parent home. I didn’t have my dad around, so I used basketball as my outlet for my anger and just to stay out of the streets. That’s what I was used to being around because of where I grew up. Moving forward, one of the most impactful moments of my life is when I started actually getting good in basketball. I started to accumulate offers from different schools. I made the varsity team, the summer of my freshman year going into my sophomore year, and then I blew my knee out as a 14-year-old.

I blew my knee out, I had surgery. I never knew anything about physical therapy or no type of injuries or anything. That was my first injury ever. I sat out for three months. I broke my leg in June, blew my knee out, tore my meniscus. The worst basketball player injuries that you could have knee-wise, I went through all of them at one time. That happened. I came back from the injury, and the day I came back, it happened again. I had to sit out a year. That’s when I realized I had to expand further than just wanting to be a college or professional athlete. I lost all my offers. Doctors were telling me I broke my growth plate and one leg was going to grow shorter than the other, and they had to probably amputate it because of my health and family histories and stuff like that.

They gave me the option to play. I said, fuck it, continue to proceed to get better and strengthen myself in basketball, which is why everybody’s so shocked that I jump the way that I do with my content in basketball. Just knowing I went through all those things.

Tubefilter: Yeah, I’m surprised too. What a nightmare.

Anthony Hamilton Jr.: My followers on all my other social media platforms before I got on TikTok, they knew that story. I went and played, I came back, had a successful season, signed. Russell Westbrook went to this school also, and we were sponsored by Jordan. My senior year, I got a college offer to a Division 3 school. It wasn’t Division 1, but I took it and I started doing track and field. When I started doing track and field, I broke the school record in an event that I’ve never done before. When I did that, I had 30 Division 1 offers to go to damn near every school in the country that is a Division 1 Power Five school.

I went to Clemson. I was nervous. I moved to South Carolina before I even got accepted into the school, I was so excited about it. I was out there by myself. I went first team all ACC, so that’s like the best team of the ACC from all the schools, an All-Star team. I made that team my first season and I eventually cracked top 10 in Clemson history for my event. I used TikTok to promote these things and to help a petition get signed, because December of my senior year, they cut the track program, and I got it back with the strength of my social media–and legal action.

Tubefilter: Oh, wow.

Anthony Hamilton Jr.: We got a petition. If you look up “save Clemson track and field,” it’s all over the news. This is around the time I started to connect by Viral Nation right after that point. My TikTok following helped get petitions signed. My girlfriend has 4.5 million followers on TikTok. She’s a big creator and her fans help with things going on today. Moving forward, all that stuff happened, I’ve logged it, I kept the audience involved. When the NIL rule came out with college athletes to make money, I literally went back to get my master’s degree and I made an article on Forbes. I made half a million dollars in NIL deals in like three months.

Then I left and started doing social media full-time. Then that’s when the movie starts to come into play. I have a world premiere tonight. I started a company called The Dunk Collective, and I signed all my friends I grew up doing my dunk videos with. They just happened to be the top 10 greatest dunkers on the planet. We travel all over the world. We have a tour coming out this summer, we just did one. Our next stop is New York. I started an account with them. I’m involved with a lot of different things. I have a record label. I’ve started companies and businesses out of the strength of my social media and just learning the different roadblocks that I had, learning from those things I felt helped benefit with deciding how I’m going to use TikTok and all these other platforms, so yes.

@hamilt0njr Bro I ain’t jumped in WEEKS 😂 #hamilt0njr ♬ original sound – Anthony Hamilton Jr

Tubefilter: What is your current mix of things? What are you currently pursuing? I know you have a lot of things going, clearly, but what are your current focuses?

Anthony Hamilton Jr.: Honestly, I want to go into acting full-time, because my movie comes out May 19 and we have the world premiere tonight. [Editor’s note: This interview was conducted May 11.] It’s for White Men Can’t Jump, and it’s the 30th year anniversary. I got a lead role in that, and I feel like that’s going to take my acting career to the next level, especially if that’s my acting debut and it’s at that level. I feel like that’s really important, but I really just want to be able to connect basketball with whatever’s going on in the world, whether it’s music, art, science, I want to make that connection with the community and just continue to inspire others.

That’s what I’m working on right now is just building my network, meeting people, buying that flight to go and shoot content with somebody and that’ll build a relationship for something else. Mainly things that are solidified is, one of the main things is not only the movie, but I started a company, I own two companies now, and the first one is just THB. That’s my LLC. That’s what I do everything under and stuff, but The Dunk Collective is literally, I went and signed the greatest dunkers on the planet to go and do tours and community service and help them build their brand.

We’ve had talks with NBA TV. We just partnered up with the Drew League, which is a very big league. It’s literally like all the players playing it, LeBron had a moment where he played in it for the first time last year and it was everywhere, so we’re an official partner and my logo that I create is going to be up in that building and my dunkers are going to come out on championship week and do those things, and we’re going to travel and just spread love and create content, because I love dunking and that’s what got me into doing all the things I do now. That’s the main thing. I have a children’s book coming out that I’m working on with the distributor.

Tubefilter: You really are doing everything.

Anthony Hamilton Jr.: Yes. I don’t really talk about it much. That’s why I’ve been trying to get my PR going a little more because I do so much. What my social media is focused on is just strictly basketball and my personality, because the kids don’t understand the business stuff, you know? I’m coming out with a children’s book, I’ve been working on that. I’m just trying to expand my content because I feel like everybody is starting to come to the creators as opposed to platforms.

Tubefilter: Yes, that’s absolutely a shift we’re seeing.

Anthony Hamilton Jr.: I feel like just strengthening my own platform and bringing everybody who wants to see me as opposed to outlets or people or individuals that just want to use me for my face. I feel like it’s more beneficial that I use it for mine, but just working on that, building my team, trying to find people that are down for the cause to make it as easy as possible. I feel like that’s the only thing that we can really focus on. Oh, also, this is a big deal. I own a record label. It’s called THB, the same thing as my company. My friend that I grew up with, I built a label around him and he did a song with an artist named Jeremih. He’s really big. He’s an older artist. We got my boy to do a song with him.  That’s another thing that we have going on behind closed doors is just managing, consulting, trying to make sure that all my friends are doing what they’re doing, because I told them, “If I’m supporting you, you guys got to do it the right way.” That’s what I have going on.

@hamilt0njr Is is possible to shoot over 7’5” Victor Wembanyama?! 🥶 @wemby #hamilt0njr ♬ original sound – Anthony Hamilton Jr

Tubefilter: Where are you based right now?

Anthony Hamilton Jr.: I’m based in L.A. and in Atlanta, but I will be in L.A. for a while. I fly all over the place. I travel. I’m down for the call, so I’m down for in-person stuff. I’ve racked up 17,000 flight miles in the last two months.

Tubefilter: Really racking them up! I’d like to hear a little bit more about how you got The Dunk Collective started. That’s a big undertaking, where you’re actually managing other people.

Anthony Hamilton Jr.: 100%. We’re on social media now, TikTok. We’re verified on Instagram and my company is a Meta partner, so we verify people and everything. I’m trying to get the TikTok verified, so we can start posting on there, but all the content is on Instagram is basically, just dope-ass content of the dunkers because they have really dope personalities. Out of all the creators, I feel like I have the best mix of personality, business, comedy, and professional. I have the best mix of that, and they lean on me for that. I feel like I’m not only just managing them, I’m a part of it, too. I’m talent, too.

I started it, but I want them to feel like you guys are starting this movement with me. This is like the new era of Clemson. We’re getting the professors involved. Terrell Owens is on our advisory board. We have executives from OVO on our advisory board that we just signed on. We have a lot of people getting on the board and helping us push these things. Literally, all the guys, we bring them in, we do shows, we’re making sure we’re highlighting their personalities, getting them deals, making sure that they’re marketing themselves, but the biggest thing that they’re working on or that we’re working on is the NBA Dunk Contest. How can we get involved? How can we get a Celebrity Dunk Contest? How can we make our own movement to bring shows to people like how the Globetrotters are doing it, but bringing a party feel or a park takeover feel to it?

We have stadiums that we’re going to get ticket sales going to very soon. I was just on the news yesterday morning and they posted the schedule, broadcasting in New York. We have our next event in New York, and that’s June 30. Just knowing we’re scheduling these events strategically around the guys so they can get their communities involved.

I’m a big family person. I’m the type of dude I want everybody to win. I’m trying to elevate everybody in my circle and the collective, it’s literally like a guild or whatever people want to call it. It’s a collective of people. Since we’re all professional dunkers, and that’s what we have in common, that’s how we met, why not we all team up while working on these other things, marketing-wise, business-wise, connecting this person to this person? It was an excuse to just open up a big network of people that I can reach out to on my own so I don’t have to rely on others, and the guys are all in for that. They’re all followed, like Drake follows four of us. It’s like we have that large of following and the odds that you get somebody like that to follow this person or Dominique Wilkins to follow this person or Jamal Crawford follows this person. We have so many people that already watch us and love us enough to follow us, all of us together. It only makes sense marketing-wise.

Tubefilter: Very cool. It’s great that you’re doing a lot to network and push up people you know are skilled.

Anthony Hamilton Jr.: Thank you. I work hard. I’m only 23. My birthday’s June 4, so I’m turning 24 in June.

Tubefilter: Are you really? You’re way younger than I thought.

Anthony Hamilton Jr.: Yes, all of this happened in the span of over the last seven years. I’ve been planning all of these things since I was a kid and I’m really big on writing things down with proper steps, and I just took the slow route of just approaching these steps to get to where I am. I’m not surprised because I work really, really hard, but at the same time, it’s crazy that I’m doing the things that I’m doing and they’re working the ways that they’re working.

I’m still young, but damn, I feel like I’m 50. I tell people all the time, I feel like I’ve lived a previous life and I just came back to finish what I started. It’s dope that I’m getting all the roadblock stuff out the way, and I’m starting to get the blow-up before I reach 25 at least.

Tubefilter: You’ve talked about what social media has done for you in terms of getting the track program back and helping to connect you and your people with the larger audience. Can you talk a little bit on a personal level, what’s been your favorite part of being on social media?

Anthony Hamilton Jr.: I feel like it’s really dope to me and it’s funny that I’m in a movie now, but I’ve always went to the movie theater and it was like, “I can film this differently,” or “I feel like it would be better if this went this way,” or it just blooms a bunch of different ideas in your mind to create your own platform. The fact that literally, I don’t look at my social media accounts as Anthony Hamilton Jr.’s personal accounts. I look at it like my media platform, everything me is getting posted on these accounts. My favorite part is that it gives you access to build a following or a group of people that love you for you or they enjoy you for you or they hate you for you, but they still follow you and build numbers for you.

Regardless of whatever’s going on in reality, like on social media, the fact that you could build a family, you could start a career, you can do a bunch of different things and just it’s becoming the new era of everything. The fact that you can control whatever you’re posting and what people see of you, it could be a blessing and a curse, but I love it because there was a problem years ago with how much influence paparazzi have and how they control. They’re the only ones that control what the public sees about you because you don’t know how to build a platform.

Knowing that you can have a platform now, you can control it, learn it and you can see analytics of it to gauge where you’re going or how you can just grow. It’s no excuse if you want to be in front of the camera and it gives you access to do things such as the things that I’m doing today. Just knowing that my mindset of that started from just being a kid watching Marvel movies or watching Black Panther, I just was inspired to be the one to be on camera, whether it’s social media podcast or interview a movie, et cetera. I feel like my favorite part is the fact that I can control everything that has to deal with me coming from me.

Tubefilter: How did you get cast in White Men Can’t Jump?

Anthony Hamilton Jr.: Literally what happened is, so there’s a man that goes by the name of Chris Young, and he works with Jordan. He was really involved with Russell Westbrook’s growth at Leuzinger High School. That was the name of high school I went to. He was involved with the head coach of the team that I was on at that school. He knew I was a good kid. I had my first corporate internship at 17. It was with Adidas. I did marketing and advertising. That goes into what I do today, but also that’s, literally he knew like I was just one of the ones that did good for myself in the neighborhood that I was in.

Just knowing that, he knew that White Men Can’t Jump was a street movie. He’s connected with a lot of people in the brand space, so the casting department was actually looking for me. They reached out to him knowing his connection to Leuzinger and my connection to Leuzinger and just they didn’t know who to reach out to for those things. I got management involved, Viral Nation, CAA, and we worked really well together to just locking in all the numbers and stuff, but just how I got noticed is literally just me being from L.A., knowing my story, people following me on YouTube and starting the workout programs during COVID and doing those things. Everybody that followed me and knew me from that, like everybody knew Anthony’s from LA and he’s one of the ones to come out of L.A. and make it in this space. Just knowing that, everybody goes on their phone and watches YouTube and Instagram.

I made sure to dominate in those spaces because I wanted to get into acting but once I started to see the numbers reflect, I had a conversation with my manager Elliot Charles and I told him that I wanted to get into acting. I had friends that were into acting, so just utilizing my resources. How do I get into this movie? How do I know this director? How can I get in contact with this person? What do I have to do? How do I have to practice and just linking up with these friends and getting advice of the best ways to go about it when the opportunity presented itself and the director told me we had a screening two weeks ago. Sorry to go off-topic, but we had a screening two weeks ago and the director after the screening, it was a private screening in the movie, so I’ve seen it twice already.

He said once he knew he had to cast a young character that was a college prospect, he thought of me because of my athleticism, my videos just off social media, you know what I’m saying? It’s an iconic basketball movie. They needed somebody to look good on the court. I played college basketball. I played against athletes and pro athletes, college athletes, high school. I know everybody, so I came into mind and I’m glad and I’m blessed that I came into mind for that. That’s how that happened is just me doing my thing. They thought about me. I got very lucky with the timing of everything, but the logistics of all of it, they told me to send in a tape. It was for a different character. It was for a very small role.

I submitted the tape for that and then they said, “Hey, we actually want you to be this role and this is a way bigger role.” I was initially just supposed to be in the scene and now seeing the movie and when we got on set and they saw how natural I was, how good everything went, they were just adding scenes, adding scenes, and they kept a lot of those scenes. I ended up being just a quick highlight in the beginning to I’m a character in the movie, I’m a highlighted character in the movie. I think just me being myself and just being open and transparent and just making sure people understand what my vision is and what the goal really is, when you’re around genuine people, they just want to see you win.

I feel like with just everything consolidated, they’re like, “He’s a dope-ass kid. We’re going to make sure he gets the screen time. We’re going to make sure as long as he’s performing that we’re going to do our thing in the studio and make sure he’s good.” That’s how it went about with the role, and now the studio and Hulu and Disney, they’re showing love. Like they have security picking us up and doing the whole red carpet. I’m taking my family, so that was a really dope experience just knowing that it went from my agent saying, “Hey, there’s a possibility you may not get any type of screen time on this movie or even in the studio accepted to be in any role to now I’m a lead role in the movie.” Just seeing all that in the premieres tonight, I’m so excited. I literally have a stylist coming in about an hour to style me for today. Yes, it’s going to be a really big day. That’s a really big moment for me.

Tubefilter: Congratulations! That’s huge. We’ve been talking a lot about your goals and your aspirations and your ideas for things, and that’s usually what my last question to interviewees is. So, in your case, I’ll just open it up to you if there’s anything else you wanted to address.

Anthony Hamilton Jr.: I feel like I’m just taking the steps to be the creator of the internet in this space. Whatever that takes, I don’t even want to limit myself or put a seal into one specific thing because I’m doing so many things. I feel like I want to market the other things better, which is a step in that direction doing this with you guys. I just want to blow up and just gain as high of a following as possible on all platforms. The fact that TikTok is my first million, that’s a dream to me. I’ve literally sat on a desktop and changed the number, editing the history just to see what it looks like. Now it’s like, that’s the reality. I feel like I have to visualize that. Just becoming that creator and blowing up and continuing to just be a vessel for the people that look up to me and the people that I motivate or the people that hate me. I still want to be a vessel for them. If it’s inspiring them to do whatever they need to do, I’m happy for that. That’s pretty much what I’m working for. That’s a goal, a personal, spiritual, physical, everything goal for me.


Hamilton is repped by Viral Nation.

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