It’s been nearly two decades since streetball legend Luis “Trikz” Da Silva Jr. was featured in a 2001 Nike sneaker campaign at 18 years old. A lot has changed since then, but Da Silva said he’ll never tire of showing off his basketball skills.
“Basketball is what gave me everything I have,” he said, during an interview Sept. 16 at Rise Up Coffee in Rehoboth Beach.
Da Silva moved to a home off Route 1 outside Rehoboth Beach two weeks ago. He said he’s still in the process of getting his home set up, in anticipation of his fiancée and 5-year-old daughter joining him.
“Amazon delivers, but I’ve still got to put everything together,” he said. “I’ve just been sitting Indian style, watching basketball. It’s not too bad.”
Da Silva has traveled the world and parlayed his basketball fame into a Hollywood acting career. He has more than 60 movies to his name, including roles in “21 Jump Street,” and “Fast Five” of the Fast & Furious series. He just finished filming a movie called “Miami Heat,” about a retired Spetsnaz agent, a Soviet military intelligence special forces officer who uses his training to save his daughter, who was kidnapped while in South Beach.
Da Silva grew up in Elizabeth, N.J. He said he ended up in Rehoboth after doing some research on safe communities, with good schools, that are near the ocean and within driving distance to major metropolitan areas and their airports. From here, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. aren’t too far away, he said.
“I’ve never been down here,” he said. “My experience with Delaware growing up was driving through it quickly on I-95.”
So far, he said, he loves the community and thinks there’s potential to use the Cape Region in movies. There are only so many places near the ocean that are also close to a lot of major cities, he said.
In addition to acting, Da Silva has a production company. He said he’s in the early stages of a show called “Sole Searchers,” a show for talking to people about their sneakers and the memories associated with them.
As an athlete, he said he said he knows there are people out there who have special pairs of shoes that remind them of great moments in their life. Da Silva said he can still remember the pair of Air Jordan 11s his mother got him when he was a boy. They had “55” embroidered on them, commemorating the night Michael Jordan scored 55 points in Madison Square Garden, he said. As a kid growing up in the inner city, it was a big deal, he said.
Da Silva has also written a children’s book, titled “A Boy Named Boo,” which is about two children and their alphabet adventures.
Da Silva said trying to make it as an actor, producer or author is a lot like being an athlete. In sports and acting, he said, people get knocked down, but they have to get back up and keep trying.
“You just keep auditioning, auditioning, auditioning,” said Da Silva. “It’s really about how much are you willing to give to make it work.”