Kevin Shiflett is taking the basketball world by storm, but it isn’t because of his three-point shot or dunking ability. His star is rising because of what he can do with his chin.

Shiflett has the unique talent of chin balancing and travels across the country as a halftime entertainer at NBA and WNBA games under the professional name The Amazing Chin Balancer.

He credits the Utah Jazz with giving him his big break nearly 10 years ago.

“Every game, I count as a blessing every time I get to perform,” he told the Deseret News. “If I only perform one time doing what I get to do, I would consider myself the luckiest man in the world.”

Fortunately for Shiflett, his career hasn’t been a one-and-done performance. He has performed for 18 NBA teams and hopes to eventually perform for all 30, as well as in the NBA Finals. He usually does 20 to 30 performances each season.

“In some ways it’s addicting because it’s really fun to be out on the court or the field — wherever I’m at performing — and hear the joy of the crowd, and to know that I’m the one bringing that to them is awesome,” he said.

The Amazing Chin Balancer’s routines

Shiflett does more than balance ladders on his chin. He can balance chairs, tables, wheelbarrows, a fully-decorated Christmas tree and other random large items you’d find around your home.

“Sometimes I amaze myself because I can quickly pick something up, and I don’t know how I do it, but I feel right where it needs to be,” he said. “It takes only one or two times to really feel confident with an item.”

You can sometimes find Shiflett roaming his local Home Depot testing new items to balance, and he’s always open to suggestions.

“As long as I can lift it, I balance it,” he said. “I’m always looking for new ideas, different variations on what to do.”

One of the most amazing things about The Amazing Chin Balancer is that he’s never dropped an item during a performance — and he plans to keep it that way.

Recently, Shiflett took his act a step further by including the Los Angeles Clippers’ Slam Squad in his routine. He balanced a basketball on the end of a pole while one of the members of the Slam Squad snatched the ball and dunked it.

“I want to keep the fans engaged so that when the players come back out, they’re playing again, that the fans are still just as engaged as they were in the first half to be able to keep the team winning,” he said. “I’m glad I get to do that.”

How The Amazing Chin Balancer’s chin balancing career started

Shiflett first discovered his talent when he was 10 years old. After a trip to the circus, he and his brother were sweeping their driveway when they remembered one of the clowns’ balancing acts. The brothers decided to try balancing brooms on their chins.

“His broom didn’t stay, and my broom stayed up there,” he said. “Ever since then, (I) just kept trying bigger and better things. In high school, for example, I was voted most likely to join the circus, just for my balancing craziness.”

He eventually graduated from performing in his driveway to performing at church talent shows, on local television in Arizona and, now, in the NBA and WNBA.

In 2015, the Jazz held a contest looking for halftime talent. Shiflett applied and won. He accepted the Jazz’s invitation to perform in what would be his biggest performance yet. As part of the deal, he was gifted a suite for the game and a cash prize.

“My wife was my girlfriend at the time, and I used the money from that Jazz game to buy her wedding ring,” he said. “Chin balancing even got me my wedding ring.”

Now the proud father of three, Shiflett gets to be the cool dad and bring back the souvenirs he receives from teams, like foam balls with teams’ logos or “Chuck the Condor” bobbleheads from the Clippers.

He says he wouldn’t be able to do it all without his wife.

“When I’m out performing, my wife’s the real all-star. She’s the one who’s at home, holding down the fort, holding down the kids and making sure that everything’s good here at home,” he said.

His halftime performances have gained enough notoriety that after a performance in Milwaukee for the Bucks, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum asked Shiflett if they could make a bobblehead in his honor. The bobblehead can be purchased on the museum’s website, and with the purchase of every bobblehead, $5 is donated to Tossin’ Away ALS.

Last year, Shiflett’s chin balancing career came full circle when he received an email from the NBA, asking him to perform during the NBA All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City. He performed at the Huntsman Center and then again at the Delta Center for the Slam Dunk Contest.

“All Star Weekend is kind of like the Super Bowl for the NBA,” he said. “You’re rubbing shoulders with — by rubbing shoulders I don’t mean literally because they’re so tall — but like my heroes, Shaq, Grant Hill, all these different NBA players and different people that you’re just running into.”

How The Amazing Chin Balancer’s faith impacts his performances

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Shiflett said his faith plays a major role in his performing career. He doesn’t take the stage — or court, to be exact — without saying a prayer.

“Before every performance, the most important thing I do is find a quiet place to say a prayer — a prayer of gratitude for the opportunity to share my talent, for a successful show, for the enjoyment of the crowd and especially sending love and safety for my family back at home if they are not with me,” he said.

Shiflett has been invited to perform on one of the biggest days of the NBA season — Christmas Day. He would have normally accepted “in a heartbeat,” but the game fell on a Sunday, and Shiflett, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, refuses to perform on Sundays.

“I‘ve had some pretty big games where I’ve been offered to perform on Sundays,” he said. “(It’s) something I’ve stayed true to, and I plan to stay true to that. For me, I feel like it’s blessed me to have other performances, for instance, like the All-Star Weekend, ones where I know that by not performing on Sundays, I am able to keep my faith and be blessed for it, too.”

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