The Virginia native escaped his tough realities through the virtual game.
Mootyy, also known as Mitchell Franklin, initially played 2K for refuge.
“Instead of hanging out with people after school, I would just go home and game,” reflected the No. 4 overall pick on his early days of being bullied as a child. “I was short and fat, not athletic. I had a high pitch voice and wasn’t confident.”
However, with this new social outlet, the Kings Guard big man remembered building a new alias through 2K where he was able to make friends from around the world without being judged. This new interest also meant he could show off talents, which Mootyy recalls motivated him to continue to play and grow.
The first-round pick worked his way towards becoming one of the world’s best NBA 2K players and earned him a spot to play in the 2K17 All-Star Tournament. Thousands of teams vied for a chance to compete in the championship but only two squads earned the opportunity to play in New Orleans in front of a live audience and a stream of more than two million viewers. During the $250,000 prize tournament, Mootyy represented his team, Throwdown, whose members would all eventually take part in the inaugural NBA 2K League season either as players or coaches.
— 2KPAI (@2KProAmInsider) October 14, 2017
Ultimately, Throwdown would fall short in the tourney to Still Trill, whose team included the League’s No. 1 overall pick Dimez, and Mootyy’s future Kings Guard teammate Timelycook.
Since the All-Star experience, Mootyy shared that he became busy with interviews, podcasts and was more involved in the 2K community which is when he realized there was a huge opportunity on the horizon. That chance came in the form of the inaugural NBA 2K League season, where he would go on to average 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists per game, while proving himself to be a veteran of the game and leader amongst his teammates.
“I experienced bullying around 7th grade until my junior year of high school,” said No. 8 during an interview at Kings Gaming Studio. “I thought if I told anyone it would make it worse so I found happiness in playing 2K which helped me overcome it.”