By Madisen Carter
If you have been on Unlimited Potential Basketball’s social media pages lately, you have most likely seen our recent videos on our shooting sessions, the Unlimited Point Guard Academy and parent testimonials. There are more than a total of 34,000 views from those videos on our Instagram page, and those videos would not have been possible if it were not for videographer, editor, and director, Michael Crocker.
Crocker has been a tremendous asset to UPB as his work has allowed UPB’s social media followers to get a glimpse of the work that happens inside the training facility as well as the athlete’s stories and their experiences on the court.
“I'm thinking about all the kids that are coming up going through UPB, and their futures are so bright, you know,” Crocker said. “It kind of just makes me fulfilled to be able to work with a group that aligns very well as far as how I think, how sports directly translates to life [and] beyond the game.”
Videography started off as just a hobby for Crocker when he went to college in Iowa. Crocker played basketball in college, and when he had an ankle injury that took him off of the court, his coach put him in a sports marketing position and handed him a camera. From then he went on to YouTube and took a deeper dive into editing tricks and tips and used his team to practice his new skills.
After college, Crocker moved back to California and worked at a tech job, but he still took the time to put work into his videography. He bought his first camera and would travel from Mountain View to San Francisco to film games. Once he had clients in the sports realm and other individuals that wanted him to produce videos, he knew financially he could support himself and focus primarily on videography, editing and directing.
“Eventually I [thought,] ‘Okay, I think this is where my heart's at. This is where I want to put a lot of time and energy and try to develop it as much as possible,’” Crocker said.
Since then, Crocker has made many projects and has worked with a great number of athletes. Those athletes include NBA star Damian Lillard, former NFL player Brice Butler, USA Rugby player Blaine Scully and professional boxer Gabe Manzanares. Crocker said picking a favorite project he has worked on was tough, but if he had to choose, his favorite project he has worked on is a project that features the two-time NBA Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, Pau Gasol.
“I think [I’d pick] Pau’s because I [saw] him play growing up, but at the same time, a lot of what we did working with him was not about him as a player really. There [were] elements about [him as a player,] but you kind of realize him as [a] human. He's a father, he's an investor, he’s a business person and he's a husband,” Crocker said. “Being able to see all the different layers that make him who he is… [and] being able to have a part capturing that, all those aspects of him, and getting to know him a little bit too, is really cool.”
Crocker’s work with Gasol was for a series that premiered on Amazon Prime in November of 2021. He was titled the series’ Second Unit Director and also participated in filming scenes for the show.
“Looking back, it's really crazy that in 2014 I was just handed a camera and kind of started riding the wave of exploring [and] being curious about how the entire process works, and [now I] find myself involved in a project like that,” Crocker said. “It's amazing, and then I also want to stay humble, but you know, not too humble, where [I] can look back and be proud. It's pretty cool.”
When Crocker picks a project to take on, he makes sure that through the project he can grow from it as well as makes sure that the topic is interesting and can make an impact on those who watch it. He said any project that involves sports, he is usually saying yes because he feels that sports is a direct reflection of life.
The main goal Crocker has for his projects is that he wants the audience to feel inspired and motivated to get up and take on whatever they want to do. As he continues his career, he plans on making long form pieces of content that showcases athletes evolving through their sport.
“I think [my] favorite part [of my job] is just seeing how people approach life, you know, there's no right way, there's no wrong way. I think everyone has their own way of doing it, and then capturing greatness within that individual,” Crocker said. “So being able to translate just greatness and potential within people through film and through videos, I think is the most fulfilling thing, and the relationships afterwards are really cool too.”
You can check out more of Crocker’s work on his website CrockerVideo.
Smith has been with UPB for a few weeks now and is helping with group training and private training. He said he has enjoyed seeing the variety of different athletes that come into the gym from division I college basketball players all the way down to three year olds. He said group training has been his favorite part so far, being able to interact with a lot of different athletes and helping them improve throughout the sessions.