Steve Harvey sees local student’s yo-yo skills

Sophomore wins a surprise on TV segment.‘Yo-yoing is more than just competitions.’


Cedarville University sophomore and yo-yo national champ, Philip White recently got the opportunity to show off his skills on national television.

››RELATED:YMCA helps family with 2 sets of twins

On Jan. 16 White appeared Steve Harvey’s nationally syndicated show where he faced-off with two fellow champion yo-yoers during the “Battle Me on Steve,” segment of the show.

A computer science major and native of Schenectady, N.Y., White currently holds the National Yo-yo Contest top spot for off string yo-yo (division 4A).

White said he was presented with the opportunity to be on the show when a member of the production crew reached out to him in December. “The show paid for me to fly out to California and stay in the Hilton in Hollywood. It was very cool to see the behind the scenes process of making a TV show.”

At the end of the “Battle Me” segment White received an unexpected bonus. When he proved to be the audience favorite, Harvey presented him with a new commuter scooter. “Winning the commuter scooter at the end was a surprise since they hadn’t told us about it beforehand.”

White’s fascination with the yo-yo began while watching YouTube videos with his younger brother. “My younger brother Stuart is a big inspiration for me to become better. He is very good in his own right, although he hasn’t had the same contest success that I’ve had. In some types of yo-yoing he is better than I am. The friendly family competition motivates me to become as skillful as possible,” said White.

In addition to his brother, White said he gained inspiration from others who have mastered the skill of yo-yoing. He specifically mentioned Andre Boulay, who created the YouTube tutorials that he learned from during his first few years of yo-yoing. “He is still an active member of the yo-yo community. He runs www.yoyoexpert.com, a large yo-yo retailer, and he runs a couple local contests in the northeast,” said White.

Even though he now has a national television appearance to his credit, White says that winning his first national title in 2015 was still his best experience as a yo-yoer. “The 2015 National Yo-yo Contest was the most exciting contest moment for me. I was competing against most of the yo-yoers that I had looked up to at the beginning of my yo-yoing. Any one of the top three contestants could have won, but the judges chose me that day and I became the national champion for the first time.”

White went on to win two more national championships after his first victory in 2015 and will once again have the opportunity to defend his title at the 2018 National Yo-yo Contest which is scheduled for June 29-July 1, at the Athenaeum Theater in Chicago, http://nationalyoyocontest.com/ .

When asked what advice he would give to those who want to take up yo-yoing, White said, “Practice, practice, practice. Yo-yoing is a skill that nearly anyone can pick up — it just takes dedication. Start by enjoying the hobby in itself. Yo-yoing is more than just competitions. If you focus solely on that aspect, you may get discouraged by initial failure.”

Contact this contributing writer at EricaHarrah@woh.rr.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

WATCH: Fergie's national anthem performance at the NBA All-Star Game baffles viewers
WATCH: Fergie's national anthem performance at the NBA All-Star Game baffles viewers

Grammy award-winning recording artist Fergie was tasked with the pre-game national anthem for the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night. On paper, that sounds like a great choice, but many viewers thought it could have gone better. Critics pointed out that Fergie’s voice was oddly erratic during the anthem. One sequence even led Warriors forward...
Court tosses most claims in suit against Butler County judge
Court tosses most claims in suit against Butler County judge

Most of the allegations by the former Butler County magistrate, who claims she was fired for being Jewish, have been dismissed from the federal lawsuit she filed against Judge Greg Stephens and Prosecutor Michael Gmoser. Kimberly Edelstein filed a $1 million lawsuit against Stephens, Gmoser and Assistant Prosecutor Dan Ferguson in May, claiming Stephens...
Woman threatens to ‘blow off’ head of Dayton postal worker
Woman threatens to ‘blow off’ head of Dayton postal worker

Federal postal workers in Dayton were threatened by a woman whose mail they will no longer deliver. Dayton police are investigating an aggravated menacing complaint from 1:45 p.m. Friday at the U.S. Postal Service office in the 4300 block of West Third Street. The female suspect is accused of spitting at the postal office supervisor and being belligerent...
Dayton fast food workers threatened with knife
Dayton fast food workers threatened with knife

Police here are investigating after a man with a knife threatened Burger King workers.  The incident happened at the Burger King, 1401 N. Keowee Street, around 8:50 p.m. Saturday.  Dayton police are investigating the aggravated menacing complaint after workers said a man in the drive-through window was waving a knife and yelling about chicken...
Panhandler gets 20 cents, followed by court summons from police
Panhandler gets 20 cents, followed by court summons from police

Police here issued a summons to appear in court for a panhandling offense.  The Dayton police report states a 62-year-old man stepped off a curb and into the roadway to accept 20 cents from a vehicle around 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the 600 block of South Jefferson Street near U.S. 35 East. He was issued a summons to appear for a charge of distribution...
More Stories