Tobey McIntosh grew up in Los Angeles rooting for the Clippers, but he also had a passion for skateboarding.

At just 14 years old, he developed his own clothing line, and that led to a collaboration with the Clippers. Tobey teamed up with player Terrence Mann on a new line that combines skating and basketball. In an interview for “LA Times Today,” LA Times columnist LZ Granderson talked to McIntosh and Mann about Crenshaw Skate Club’s partnership with the Clippers.

What You Need To Know

  • Tobey McIntosh created Crenshaw Skate Club as a young teenager

  • He was inspired to create apparel for him and his friends when he saw that skaters in the media didn’t look like them

  • Crenshaw Skate Club collaborated with the LA Clippers to make a basketball-inspired line

  • Clippers player Terrence Mann said he is inspired by McIntosh’s vision and talent

McIntosh told Granderson how he came up with the idea for Crenshaw Skate Club.

“I grew up skating in the Crenshaw district. That’s where I was raised. Once you get into skating, you look at skate magazines, skate videos. And when I would look at these things, I never saw people that looked like me and my friends. So I wanted to start something to represent us in the skate industry, and that was Crenshaw Skate Club. I made t-shirts for me and my friends to wear when we went to the skate park or went skating. We would wear these, and people would always ask how they can buy these shirts. I googled how to create a website, and I did all this work. My first drop, I remember I sold zero shirts. That was a little heartbreaking, but it taught me not to give up. I wanted to see what I could do the next time to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

When he looked at skating media, McIntosh didn’t see anyone who looked like him and his friends. He talked about interacting with an industry where he didn’t have an example to follow.

“My friends were all African American, and there’s a lack of African American representation in this industry. There’s a lot of us that skate. They’re just not really shown in the main skate media. It wasn’t like there’s a lack of us, it was just there wasn’t a light shined on us. So I just took it into my own hands.”

Clippers player Terrence Mann talked about what it meant to the team to have a lifelong fan like McIntosh be involved in the organization. He also remarked on McIntosh’s unique talent and drive.

“I’m sure it’s a surreal feeling for him to just be able to do this and get this opportunity,” said Mann. “Like he said, a lot of skaters didn’t look like him, and now he’s putting light to that, and it’s been this great to see. Because with basketball, we see African-American basketball players every time you turn on the TV. So this is crazy to be able to think outside the box. And at that age? I [was] thinking about girls, going outside, and just trying to hang out all day. I’m not thinking about my future or anything like that at that age.”

McIntosh shared some of the designs he created in partnership with the Clippers.

“There are some graphics that are more skating heavy, some graphics lean more towards basketball. I never played basketball much, but one thing I like to do is spin the basketball. My thing is, can we keep it up that long? I feel like most people look at basketball and skating. They think they’re polar opposites. But me and my friends would skate on the basketball court and live in the same ecosystem as the basketball players. We’d split the court. Half the court for skating and half the court for basketball.”

The Clippers franchise has long tried to stay connected to the community of LA. Mann spoke about what he and the team get out of their partnerships with people like McIntosh.

“Not only just having fun with it, but a lot of knowledge about the community that I didn’t know before. I grew up in New York and Boston, so I don’t know too much about LA and the West Coast vibe. Just learning about the culture and learning that they got kids like [McIntosh] out here and there’s a lot of similarities and that’s what’s cool about it.”

McIntosh is currently a freshman at Stanford University, where he is studying economics. He talked about his long-term goals during and after college.

“In the long term, in real life, you have to learn how to balance things, and life’s not going to get any easier. I think by experiencing this now and balancing school and the brand, it’ll help me in the long term. I want to keep growing this brand. And if not, I have a Stanford degree to fall back on.”

To see more of Tobey’s clothing line, visit

Watch “LA Times Today” at 7 and 10 p.m. Monday through Friday on Spectrum News 1 and the Spectrum News app.