Meet K Showtime, the Drake-Cosigned Canadian Hooper Taking Over the Internet

Canadian basketball player K Showtime and Drake hanging out on basketball court.At the end of last month, I spiralled into the depths of a YouTube rabbit hole and became a new consumer of a niche culture of basketball. Instead of conducting my nighttime routine, I had fallen into a bottomless abyss of hoop content. This unplanned journey began when I stumbled upon a thumbnail in my Instagram Explore page of what appeared to be the beginning stages of a pick-up basketball fight, with subtitles reading “Watch your hand.” The IG video featured competitive high-octane park basketball, with slippery crossovers and acrobatic layups, concluding with a clean, behind-the-back dribble move into a vicious self-alley-oop dunk.

Immediately after watching the clip, I was compelled to click onto K Showtime’s IG page and venture to his YouTube channel in order to see the full video. For the next 30 minutes I was fully locked in, witnessing K Showtime and his squad dismantle various pickup teams at a Scarborough outdoor court. The basketball was aggressive, highly skilled, layered with smack talk, and included energetic moments that often resulted in fans swarming the court to cheer on or heckle a specific player. Consuming one video turned into seven more.

Kevon Watt, more commonly known as K Showtime, is a 20-year-old Canadian hooper at the forefront of a fresh wave of YouTube basketball content. Born and raised in Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood, Showtime is a rising Internet sensation, climbing from 25,000 subscribers in August to presently over 190,000. His exponential growth can be attributed to multiple viral videos on YouTube and Instagram, co-signs from pro-hoopers, and his friendship with Drake, who was featured in one of his recent videos.

Showtime has claimed the title of Canada’s park-run ambassador, putting Toronto on the map in a new world of basketball content creators. The rise of Instagram pages and platforms like BallIsLife and House of Highlights, along with YouTubers such as Nick Briz, CRSWHT, D’Vontay Friga, has allowed pickup ball content to blossom to an astronomical level, garnering millions of views and likes online. Showtime joins the fold of viral creators by showcasing the energy in Toronto and highlighting basketball culture in the city in a new light.

We caught up with K Showtime to chat about his story and come up on YouTube, his friendship with Drake, community, and his future plans.

What’s good Showtime? Hope you’re doing well, man. Let’s get right into it. What was your early basketball career like?
What’s going on man? Yeah, in Grade 10, I went to a prep high school in Kentucky, called Wesley Christian and came back to Canada in my last year and attended Downsview High School. I didn’t have to go there, but I went there because it was in the hood, you know, and I wanted to bring them an OFSAA championship. I actually got kicked off the team in my last year of highschool. A lot of people don’t actually know that, though. After that I was like, whatever… I  didn’t get offers to play JUCO and I didn’t want to play CIS.

Shifty, a dog, explosive. And yeah, definitely my shot—if you really pay attention to my videos, you’ll see all I really do is layups and drive. I don’t shoot often, so if I work on that I’ll be able to score easier. It’ll help me stay healthy. I’ve hurt my ankle a lot.

So, you often say, “I’m from the trenches.” We hear a lot about the negatives of Jane and Finch in the media, even though there are so many talented artists and athletes from that neighbourhood. What was growing up in Jane and Finch like?
Man, there’s a lot of talented people in Jane and Finch, but there’s so much beef. A lot of people are always competing with each other and caught up in the violence. I just want to show people that you don’t have to pick up a gun or sell drugs. I mean look at me: I’m from Jane and trying to use my platform to bring the community together, all through ball.

Toronto basketball sensation K Showtime

Image via Patrick Koska

Man, that’s honestly so commendable. Shoutout to you for real. Talk to me about the charity initiative you organized called Back 2 School Park Takeover.
Yeah, it was held at Lakeshore Village Park. I wanted to do something for the community, because I knew school was starting soon. So, I posted about it and asked for help organizing it. People hit me up and helped me with getting an ice cream truck. I went out of my way to pay for the books and bags, and facilitated some barbers to come out. It was a great initiative, honestly.

That’s amazing, bro. Are there any other community drives or initiatives you want to do later on also?
For sure. I really want to build a new community centre in the middle of Jane and Finch, and build some courts around it, because there’s some shitty courts out there, man.

With basketball in Canada becoming more popular and us seeing more players go D1 and play professionally, what’s your outlook on the landscape of ball in the country?
Yeah, ball in Canada is on the right path for sure. Before, not really so. I feel like we need more mentors over here and the right people in the player’s ears telling you what to do. Realistically, growing up I didn’t have someone telling me to take academic classes and all that. It’s very different now, you really don’t even have to go to high school in America right now in order to make it.

That’s a great perspective, man. So you’ve had viral success from here in Toronto, created a video with Drake and other rappers, are you looking to go stateside soon? What do you think L.A. would look like for you?
For sure, yeah. I’m trying to go to L.A. in the next month or so. I feel like in Toronto, there’s a lot of good hoopers that are actually better than Americans, but just don’t get the recognition. So, I’m most definitely trying to show Americans that Toronto is still being slept on.

I think when I go to L.A., I’ll start getting the most views and more subscriptions—I won’t lie. Everyone wants me to go to America. People are begging and waiting for me to come and play out there. Literally sending me threats and shit. [Laughs.] Once I go there and take over, that’s when shit is going to be even more popping. I have a lot of big names and collaborations to do over there also, a lot of people want to play with and against me.

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