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How a kid from Muskegon landed in the breathtaking new Nike commercial

After his mom's social media post caught fire, nine- year-old Reid Hackney's fame took off.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — It’s the multi-million dollar Nike commercial that has the world buzzing.

An ad with amazing effects and some of the most famous athletes in the world.  

“The first time you saw it, it just like gives you chills,” said Traci Hackney.

And then just when the commercial couldn’t get any more exciting, one Muskegon family managed to reach the apex of their fame.

“Just from basement foam ball tennis, to a Nike commercial. It was still kind of hard to believe,” Traci said.

The rise to stardom for Traci's sons, nine-year-old Reid and his 14-year-old brother Drew, came shortly after the pandemic began. With nowhere to go and nothing to do, the two began playing tennis in the basement.

“Down here, we can come up really mad at each other,” Reid explained.

The competition was so fierce, it caught the attention of Traci, who instead of stopping the match, filmed it, and put it on Twitter.

“One day, we were sleeping and then we woke up to the sound of mom’s phone dinging because people were liking her tweets,” Reid said.

In just a matter of days, the video caught fire. NBC Sports reached out to use it, as did Fox and their announcer Joe Buck, who voiced over the action with some humorous play-by-play. 

After a few weeks, Nike came calling — but there was a catch.

“She told me they would only be using Reid. And I was like, ‘Oh.’ Traci said.

But while mom took the news hard, big brother amazingly didn’t.

“At first I was like, ‘Oh, it’s disappointing just because it’s such a cool opportunity,’ Drew said. “But then it’s like, ‘It’s so cool that he got to be in it.”

Nike didn’t say how the footage would be used and they certainly didn’t say that through special effects, Reid would be playing tennis with someone who lives in Italy.

“They nailed it. It looks fluid,” Traci said. “I’m getting calls, Facebook messages, tweets, texts, and they’re just like, “I just saw Reid in a commercial during the Lakers game.”

It was a moment to be proud of, yet it couldn’t compare to the pride of watching Reid still wanting to share the spotlight with his brother.

“Technically, it was our video, not mine. He’s just as part of it,” Reid said. “I love him.”

Nike can spend a lot of money promoting a message, but it still won’t get any better than that.

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