By Sally Tippett Rains
There are not a lot of lawyers out there who can add MMA fighter and television sports competitor to their resume, but then again there are not a lot of lawyers like Derik Scott of St. Louis, Mo. Scott, a graduate of Lindbergh High School, Lindenwood University and Baylor School of Law gets his network television debut this Thursday as a contestant on The Rock’s new highly publicized competition series The Titan Games.
Scott, who recently moved to Los Angeles said he was trying out for season 10 of American Ninja Warrior when he found out about The Titan Games. He was still in the running for American Ninja Warrior but once he heard about the new show he switched gears.
The producers of American Ninja Warrior dropped a little information during the time Scott was in their office.
“They told me about a new show and as soon as they said ‘the Rock’ I was like ‘I don’t care what you say, I’m in!’” he told STLSportsPage.com this week. He had to make a tape and submit paperwork and a resume.
NBC partnered with Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia to produce the 10-episode series that premieres this Thursday, January 3 at 7 p.m. on Channel Five in St. Louis.
The network is billing the new show as “everyday people” getting a “once -in a lifetime opportunity to compete in epic head-to-head challenges designed to test the mind, body and heart… inspired by Johnson’s desire to motivate global audiences to reach their potential for greatness.”
“I pulled together the most criminally insane engineers and scientists to create the most epic athletic challenges ever seen,” Johnson said on Instagram. He also said he was involved in all of the planning of the athletic challenges.
Johnson, best known as The Rock, played football on a full-ride scholarship at the University of Miami, playing briefly in the Canadian Football League before joining the “family business” of pro wrestling – signing with the WWF (World Wrestling Federation).
Scott also attended college on a full-ride scholastic scholarship and came from a work-out upbringing as his family business growing up was Scott’s Gymnastics with both his parents Dana and Kevin being gymnasts. Like Johnson, Scott has branched out to different areas.
He and his brothers Shaun, Zeke and Ian (all shown in photo, right when they were younger) competed in gymnastics from the time they were toddlers. Ian was the oldest, then Derik, then Shaun, and Zeke is the youngest.
Ian Scott, was killed in a car accident when Derik was 12 and he dedicated his performance on The Titan Games to his late brother.
“They stress for the show that they not only want good athletes, they want good people—people who try to uplift others,” said Derik Scott. “I feel like every day of my life is about how I can improve my life and the lives of those around me. I lost a brother who didn’t get to fulfill his potential as a person, so I feel obligated to fulfill mine as a tribute to him.”
The three remaining brothers started Scott Health and Fitness on Lemay Ferry Rd., shown in the photo, left, with their mother Dana Scott are Derik, Shaun and Zeke.
Being brothers and all of them in sports, they were always competitive against each other, but they also rooted each other on. Both Derik and Shaun compete in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). When they were young they were often in competitions which pitted them against each other, but Scott says they were always happy if the first three places were claimed by a Scott brother—whichever order it was.
“When one Scott brother wins, we all win,” he said noting that his brothers have been “nothing but supportive” of him in his endeavor with The Titan Games. He was excited when the family recently came out to L.A. and he was able to show them around—including where the show was taped.
The show has already wrapped, and no one is saying anything about the outcome. STLSportsPage.com talked to an NBC rep who kept mum how Scott did in the competition so we will all have to tune in on Thursday night Jan.3 at 7 p.m. to watch.
The field for the show started out with tens of thousands of applicants which was cut down to 200 or so for a “combine” which whittled the group down to 64 competitors from around the country. The show takes place at the Irwindale Speedway about 45 minutes east of Los Angeles– renamed “The Titan Arena” for the show. The main obstacle was known as Mount Olympus.
“The whole raceway was converted to a huge arena,” said Scott who stressed how amazed he was at the massive production. But then he has been doing things on a large scale for a long time. He even holds a Guinness record with his brother Zeke.
“It was the most backflips on a Swiss ball between two people in one minute,” he said.
The crazy thing about that record-setting feat was that a television network in China contacted them to do a similar competition and Zeke was unable to do it but Shaun was able to fill in. Shaun and Derik both flew separately to China and met each other there– never having even practiced but prepared in their minds to perform it in front of a crowd and on television.
“They practiced in their hotel room,” their mom Dana remembered.” They put the Swiss ball at the end of one of the beds and just practiced it there for the first time.”
The first time they performed it later that night one of them hit his head on the concrete and ended up with a concussion. Did that stop them? Not the Scott brothers. Once he recovered they went back and finished the task to the delight of the Chinese audience.
When the show comes on, Derik Scott said it will be the first time he has seen the footage since filming ended in October. He’s not sure he will be seen in the first episode but he will definitely be featured as the show progresses.
He said his competition in the MMA (photo shown left) helped him, but the scale of competition and production was so much higher on the show.
Besides the MMA– his pro MMA fighting contract is with St. Louis based Shamrock FC– Scott’s background in gymnastics competition was valuable as there were many crossovers which helped him in the competition.
Along with all the athletic accolades Derik Scott has achieved, he got his Masters in Business Administration before getting his juris doctorate in Law on a Dean’s full scholarship to Baylor; winning many awards while doing so. He never does anything half-way. After choosing Lindenwood for college he started as a walk-on diver but then ended up with a scholarship after setting diving records for the University.
“I actually still hold Lindenwood records for numerous dives,” Scott said.
Come Thursday night the Scott family in St. Louis will all be glued to the television but so will their many friends and those who knew Derik from playing with him or against him in the various sports he was involved in. At Lindbergh he was on baseball, basketball, football, wrestling and diving and then at Lindenwood he was on the diving team.
For more from Derik Scott click the audio player”
Interview with Scott and STLSpiortsPage.com
The Scott family (from left to right) Zeke, Shaun, Kevin, Derik, and Dana . (Scott photo)
To see the trailer for the show click on the video player below.
Photo Credits: NBC photos; Scott family photos