3x3 dunk champ Staples has become a social media sensation
DOHA (Qatar) - Everybody Loves Chris. You know that already if you watch the FIBA 3x3 World Tour, where Chris Staples' high-flying act has made him one of the best dunkers on the planet.
But the American is much more than a dunker and has fans far removed from hoops having become a social media sensation over the past year.
Staples has taken his creative talents - once reserved for inventing jaw-dropping dunks - to social media, where he has become something of an influencer and inspiration with almost half a million followers on TikTok.
The 1.90m (6ft 3in) started getting interested in YouTube in late 2019 but things took off for him during the Covid-19 pandemic when he decided to brighten the mood on social media during a dark time for the whole world.
"I already had a community behind me through dunking but during the pandemic people were on their phones more so I started to post a lot of content," Staples said.
"I started doing push-ups and posting them. I had a lot of people messaging me how they were inspired. I continued to grow after that and feel better about what I was doing.
"Maybe not everyone can dunk like I can but I try to make things fun. I do funny videos so people can enjoy watching them but I also post motivational content."
Teaming up with other popular creators on TikTok, including a world renowned juggler, Staples' videos have not only become highly entertaining viewing but they've pushed the envelope and earned him the distinction of being in the Guinness Book of Records multiple times, including for the most blindfolded dunks in one minute.
Becoming big on social media isn't all fun and games with the 34-year-old taking the craft deadly seriously and treating it as a job.
"I work on it from 9am-5pm, so I'm very disciplined," he said. "I want people to notice my content and I love when people say 'I've been watching your content' which is a compliment for me."
Taking inspiration from his hero 'The Rock', Staples likes to keep busy and serve as a template for the next generation of dunkers.
"I want to progress and show people they don't just have to be a slam dunker. Use your talent to open other doors," he said.
"I want people to say 'this guy took slam dunking to a completely different level'.
"I want to prove that dunkers can expand to be in a movie, set a world record, have their own show - they don't have to be just a professional dunker.
"When I'm not dunking anymore, I want to have some type of footprint for the next generation to continue to grow it."