A few summers ago, three brothers from the Wichita area — Taylor, Logan and Nathan Nemechek — started a YouTube channel called Gentlemen Swag.
They post a variety of videos including basketball trick shots, challenges and comedy stereotypes. The brothers say it was an excuse for the three of them to get together between jobs and sports.
As of April 15, they have been recognized by Guinness World Records for the Longest Blindfolded Basketball Shot with a distance of 75 feet.
Taylor, freshman in chemical engineering at Kansas State, said their first year on YouTube didn’t have much success. He and his two younger brothers got their inspiration for trying out world records from watching Dude Perfect, an American sports entertainment group that routinely uploads new video content to various YouTube channels.
Taylor said they went outside with a basketball and measuring tape to see if any of the records set by Dude Perfect were somewhat doable and found out they were.
“Once we figured out the records were doable, we thought we could make the channel into something,” Taylor said. “We have ended up breaking 10 records, unofficially, over the summer and we have sent applications to Guinness for some of them. We wanted something big for the channel to start off the summer, and breaking Dude Perfect records seemed like a pretty good start.”
Nathan, an eighth-grader at Andale Middle School, said from a young age he has had the dream of officially holding a world record. This dream did not seem like a possibility until the brothers watched Dude Perfect’s world record video.
“At the time, we were not sure if we would be able to accomplish this feat, but we decided to try anyway,” Nathan said. “This worked out great, and we managed to break multiple records. Since then, we have been able to approve one world record by Guinness, and we are working on many others.”
The process for approving a world record with Guinness is more than meets the eye. Taylor said would-be record holders must fill out an initial application, and Guinness usually likes video evidence of the potential record.
If Guinness accepts the initial application, applicants must then repeat the record on video with three different camera angles and two witness statements. It takes three months to get through the initial acceptance, and then another few months to get through the second round. Taylor said it takes about nine months total before a record is officially approved.
There are currently seven other basketball world records Gentlemen Swag is trying to get approved, including Longest Hook Shot, Longest Blindfolded Basketball Shot, Longest Basketball Shot With Your Head, Most Figure Eights in One Minute and Most Behind-the-Backboard Shots in One Minute.
While their other records are getting approved, the brothers hope to continue breaking other records and pushing for growth and improvement with their YouTube channel. Nathan said the biggest challenge is getting people to view their videos, and he hopes to see the numbers continue to climb.
“Starting a channel is very difficult, and getting over that hump takes a lot of time and hard work,” Nathan said. “We will continue to try and get our name out there because I believe if people saw our videos, they would enjoy our content.”
Starting this YouTube channel has had a different impact on each brother, but they all agreed it served its original purpose of being an excuse to spend time together. Taylor said it has improved his relationship with his brothers by giving them time to do things they enjoy.
Taylor also said he and his brothers never thought it was possible to go anywhere with this channel, but now that they have an official record, they think they could make something out of it.
Nathan said their age differences don’t get in the way when they are working on the channel, and it’s created a greater bond between them. Logan, a sophomore at Andale High School, agreed with his younger brother’s sentiment.
“I think the impact has just been between us brothers because we have been able to spend more time together, which had allowed us to grow closer,” Logan said. “This YouTube channel was never about getting people to watch, it was more about spending time together and having fun.”