Anchorage’s Demietrius Preston thought he would post just a few highlight videos of his younger brother when he created his YouTube channel in 2011.
He ended up creating a go-to source for Alaska high school basketball.
Armed with a used camera his grandmother gave him, Preston turned his ‘wegotnextt’ mix-tape videos into a must-see attraction for players, fans and college coaches, racking up 925,000 views in eight years and providing much-needed exposure for Alaska players looking to go to the next level.
“In 2011, you barely knew what the other guy across town looked like. You had to go to the game to see people,” Preston told me. “Now, these videos are normal.”
Preston and Talkeetna’s Loudon Wilson, aka ‘AlaskanAthlete,’ are widely recognized as the best sports videographers in Alaska. They put players on the map.
Pretty soon, however, Preston will stop filming and start serving in the military.
The 30-year-old has joined the U.S. Air Force and will report to basic training in San Antonio, Texas. He plans to pursue a communications career with the Air Force, but it means he has to put ‘wegotnextt’ on the shelf for a while.
“I did not want to quit,” Preston said. “I’ve also always been passionate about making an impact and helping kids where I grew up.”
Preston, of Service High fame, played basketball and competed in track and field in high school. He was a star for the UAA track and field team, winning the conference long jump title and earning NCAA D2 All-American honors in 2010.
A year later he started his YouTube channel. Since then Preston has produced some 3,000 videos on hundreds of players.
“I think it’s cool how it’s helped connect people around the world with Alaska. People (in the Lower 48) are finally starting to connect the dots. There is a lot of hidden talent. It’s only going to get bigger regardless if I’m doing it or not.”