The pandemic trapped everyone in their houses, which forced some of those secluded folks to find a creative outlet to get their minds off the world’s current predicament.
One of those individuals is Randy Jimenez aka “RipItRandy,” a young up-and-coming NBA 2K content creator hailing from Coral Springs, Florida. Over the course of 2020, Randy racked up a ton of followers across his YouTube and TikTok channels. And in its current stage, he’s managed to gain 75K+ subscribers on YouTube and 60K+ followers on TikTok.
We caught up with the rising NBA 2K YouTuber and TikToker to have a chat about his upbringing, the type of videos he makes, his advice for other content creators in the making, and more.
ONE37pm: Do you remember the very first basketball game you ever played?
RipItRandy: The very first basketball game that I played was NBA Live 06 on the GameCube with Dwyane Wade on the cover back when I was five years old. In 2012, I decided to get NBA 2K9 on the PS3 because I didn’t have enough money in my piggy bank to buy the latest NBA 2K game that was out. I played that game until Christmas of 2013 when my parents got me a PS4 along with NBA 2K14.
ONE37pm: What made you decide to become an NBA 2K content creator?
RipItRandy: So basically, I’ve lived in Coral Springs, Florida for my entire life. I moved to Georgia in 2006 for a year, and then in 2012 again for another year for my dad’s job. When I wasn’t living in Georgia, I was living in Coral Springs.
One day in 2014, in the summer after 8th grade, my dad took me and my family out to dinner and told us that we were moving to Georgia once again for a longer period of time. We ended up moving to Marietta, Georgia in the summer of 2015. I had no friends in Georgia and I felt the only way to keep myself happy in a new place was by playing video games. NBA 2K15 was the current 2K game that was out at that time. Every day in the summer, I would stay inside and play the “MyTeam” mode on NBA 2K15 from the time that I woke up until I went to sleep.
I became so invested in the game that I began to watch different YouTubers play the game, such as Jesser, ThatKiddKuda, StaxMontana CashNasty, NickTheBullsFan, and many more people. I watched their videos so much to the point where I would say their catchphrases whenever I would play the game. When I caught myself doing this after a few times, I thought to myself, “if these guys are making a living doing the same thing I’m doing, then I might as well give it a shot.”
I began recording gameplay footage on my PlayStation whenever I played NBA 2K16 MyCareer and posted the raw footage to my YouTube, but then I realized that I need to start editing my videos. When I first started out, I used a school flash drive to transfer my gameplay footage from my PlayStation to my mom’s 2009 MacBook Pro to edit the videos. I published my first serious YouTube video on Jan 21, 2016, which is still on my channel today. I went around telling my neighbors and all of my friends to subscribe to my channel, which is how I got my first 100 subscribers.
From that point on, until I hit 1,000 subscribers, I went around messaging a bunch of members of the 2K community on Twitter, asking them to subscribe to my channel which helped me gain at least 20 subscribers per day, which was a lot to me at the time. On my 16th birthday, I reached out to one of my YouTube inspirations, StaxMontana, and asked him if we could play a few games of NBA 2K16 MyPark for a video.
At the beginning of that day, I was at 800 subscribers and continued to upload videos almost daily. Luckily, Stax replied pretty quickly and said he would play with me and upload a video of the gameplay on his channel as well, which had over 500,000 subscribers at the time. He was nice enough to shout me out in the video, which helped me achieve my first big goal and hit 1,000 subscribers on my 16th birthday, which was December 29, 2016.
On that day, I received a LOT of happy birthday messages and a lot of kind messages, which made me realize that I wanted to work hard and take content creation as seriously as possible, due to all of the kind messages and support I was receiving and the fact that I can have a positive impact on people’s lives, like StaxMontana and other NBA 2K creators have had on mine.
ONE37pm: We gotta know the origins behind your online moniker, “RipItRandy.”
RipItRandy: The way I came up with my name is a bit strange but quite interesting. I used to play baseball throughout my whole life, up until 10th grade when we found out my mom got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which she would later pass away from in 2018.
Whenever I used to play baseball and get up to bat, my mom would always scream “Rip it!” to me, which basically means to hit the ball hard. I loved when she used to say this to me because it was something she would do when I was a toddler playing baseball up until my last days of playing baseball. I quit playing baseball in late 2017 to be closer to my mom and spend as much time with her because I was very uncertain about our future with her.
When I was starting up my YouTube channel, I couldn’t think of a name – all I knew was that I wanted to have my actual name in my channel’s name. I used to play Rocket League with my friends when it became popular, so one name I was thinking of was “RocketRandy,” but my friends told me not to choose that name because it was very generic.
Another name I had in mind was “RabbitRandy” because I can jump high, but I also thought that was a corny name. I was so desperate to find a name that I resorted to an online name generator. The formula behind the name generator was to insert your real name and then choose a term that resonates with you or sounds cool.
This is when I thought to myself: “My name is Randy, and my mom always told me to “Rip it” whenever I played baseball, so why not go with RipItRandy?” and I decided to choose that name. Six years later, I couldn’t be happier with the name that I came up with because it honors my mom. When she was alive, she always taught me to be nice to everybody and to always work hard at whatever I do, and to not worry about what anybody else thinks of me, which is essentially the meaning behind my name and the message that I try to spread with my content.
ONE37pm: Do you have a wishlist of features you’d love to see the next NBA 2K implement?
RipItRandy: In the next NBA 2K, I would like –
- For them to make it cross-platform so that people on Xbox and PlayStation can play with each other.
- I would also like for 2K Games to make the Next-Gen version of the game the same as the Current-Gen version of NBA 2K, but with better graphics. Ever since the release of the new Next-Gen consoles, the Current-Gen and Next-Gen versions of NBA 2K have been very similar, but not the exact same. I believe that if the two games aren’t the exact same, the 2K community will be split, which decreases viewership for just about every NBA 2K content creator.
- I would like for 2K Games to remove “The City” and revert back to the regular MyParks as they did up until NBA 2K21. In my opinion, The City is a waste of space due to the large number of buildings that you can’t walk inside of. I feel like The City gives NBA 2K more of a Grand Theft Auto kind of vibe, which I don’t like. All I want to do on NBA 2K is play basketball and have fun with my friends without having to skate across the entire map just to get to a basketball court.
- I would like for the MyPlayer Builder to be the same on Current-Gen as it is on Next-Gen NBA 2K currently. So that way, there is a lot more diversity between the builds that different players use.
ONE37pm: Are there any non-sports games you play as much as NBA 2K?
RipItRandy: I spend most of my time playing NBA 2K trying to upgrade my different players when I’m not making content. When I’m not playing NBA 2K, I usually play either Fortnite or GTA V. I’ve really been enjoying Fortnite again ever since they implemented the no-building mode into the game. I have also enjoyed playing GTA V “Roleplay” on my PC, as well as the new Next-Gen GTA V that has recently been added to Next-Gen consoles.
ONE37pm: What are some future aspirations you have for your career?
RipItRandy: In the future, I definitely want to get the opportunity to get scanned into an NBA 2K game because I have been playing their games since I was a kid. I’ve had the opportunity to develop relationships with NBA 2K employees and even that is a bit mind-blowing to me.
Also, I want to branch out with my content and make real-life videos while also keeping my channel basketball/sports-related for as long as I can. I have always been a big fan of the NBA, and now that I have a decent-sized platform, I feel like I have the perfect opportunity to reach out to different NBA players and teams in hopes of collaborating with them and featuring them in my content. I believe these types of collaborations can benefit both of our brands and would result in some entertaining content as well.
My favorite basketball team is the Miami Heat and creating content with their players has always been at the top of my bucket list since I began making videos. My favorite NBA player is Tyler Herro from the Miami Heat, whose journey I’ve been following since high school. He’s my favorite player because he’s been doubted all throughout his career – he has stayed motivated through it all and kept proving his haters wrong.
His journey resonates with me so much because I was in the same situation as him while I was trying to pursue content creation in high school. All throughout high school, I would continue to get laughed at and made fun of for my videos, which caused a lot of doubts to run through my head, almost resulting in me quitting content creation.
Seeing somebody else like Tyler deal with similar challenges and still continue to work hard and be successful makes me respect him a ton & serves as motivation for me & many other people who face these obstacles. The Miami Heat have provided me with a lot of entertainment, as well as inspiration, throughout my lifetime.
Another future aspiration that I have is to create content with players from the New York Yankees, who me and my entire family have been diehard fans of for decades. Baseball was the only sport that I played growing up and I think it would be bittersweet to have the opportunity to create some type of baseball content since I quit playing baseball to pursue content creation.