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Getting to know a Grizz Gamer- Troy Minott II

That’s a lot of 2K. But it has paid off.

9,592 hours.

That’s how many hours Troy Minott has spend playing NBA 2K the last four years. That’s roughly 3,197 games per year and over 12,000 games.

To say Troy is a veteran presence to on this inaugural team for Grizz Gaming might be an understatement.

Troy is the starting shooting guard for Grizz Gaming with the player handle AyeTHREAT (and Twitter handle @uHThreaT). He grew up in Miami, a beach town, where things are much faster paced than Memphis. This all started just being able to have fun and play video games back in 2012. There was no vision of being a professional gamer, there was no goal to make it to the NBA 2K league. That was an afterthought to just having fun with friends. Over the years gaming became the only thing Troy did, playing up to 8-10 hours per day. The old stigma of kids sitting in their rooms playing video games with Doritos stains on their pants. That was Troy Minott. He embodied every nightmare parents had of their kids not wanting to get off the couch and get a job.

Then something happened in 2016 that changed the way people viewed the NBA 2k video game. They announced something called the ‘250K Road to the Finals’ tournament. This was the first time that there was real money involved in this video game. This was the first time that you could actually walk away with “life changing money”, as Troy put it to me. This tournament was a 23 day tournament that lasted from January to June. This was the first iteration of the now NBA 2K league. This was the way the NBA was able to gauge the interest of players like Troy Minot.

This was it for gamers, this was when things got serious for not only Troy, but everyone. “We used to have practice times where we would all get on the same time, we would grind from 4:00 when everyone got of school to 12:00 and do the same thing every day”. Troy and his team would end up qualifying for the tournament in 2016, but Troy would not play in it. His team qualified with ten people, but you could only play with five, so he sat out. The next year, Troy was determined to make it to the tournament and actually play, contribute on the floor, so he started his own team. After countless more games that year practicing in 2017, Troy’s team did not even qualify for the tournament.

There were other tournaments in 2016 and 2017. There were little tournaments in cities across the country, and as the game grew in popularity, so did the tournaments. Troy’s teams would go and compete in these small tournaments in their cities and regions, win some money here and there, but it wasn’t enough. They prize money was enough to have fun with, but they were never going to make a career doing that. This is the point where most people start to move on, this is where the realization starts to sit in that you got to move on with your life, find a career and be happy with it.

That’s exactly what Troy Minott did.

He got a job in a grocery story in the deli department. He was slicing meat, making sandwiches, and going to school. He never gave up NBA 2K though, it was always in his back pocket, but in 2k18 he went from 8 hours a day to 8 hours a week. Troy had other obligations at that point, but it was still a passion for him and he was never going to give that up.

So when they announced the 2K league, he knew was going to give it a shot.

After explaining to me how most of the players in the world are all point guards, he realized something pretty quickly. If he wanted to be sure he got drafted, he needed to switch positions. You see, Troy had always played as a point guard, but he knew that not really that many people wanted to play as a shooting guard in NBA 2k. As a shooting guard, you have to rely on someone else to get you the ball, something that not many people had any interest in. So if he could boost his chances by switching positions, that’s exactly what he would did.

Troy was selected 49th overall in this NBA 2K draft. He went from working in a grocery store to being a professional gamer with a salary in a city he had never been to pretty quickly. “It didn’t hit me until the Grizzlies decided to fly me out and move to Memphis” Troy told GBB, and now a few months later they are flying out every week to play games. He was on the grind to make in this league, hours of playing, hours of games to make it to where he really wanted to be. Troy never really gave up even though it looked like he should.

The Grizzlies have been using the Grit and Grind mantra for so many years now. Troy Minott, in a very 21st century way, fits right in here in Memphis.

Follow @sbngrizzlies