UNT new home for former pro-motocross star Blake Wharton

UNT new home for former pro-motocross star Blake Wharton

UNT new home for former pro-motocross star Blake Wharton
September 14
13:34 2016

UNT, a school known for its acceptance of quirky, quantitative collections of creative individuals, is now the school of choice for retired motocross star Blake Wharton. Wharton began racing motocross professionally in 2008 when he was 17-years-old. Now he has a new race to compete in, the race to graduation. The former extreme-sport star will now be hitting the books instead of jumps.

“I was home-schooled growing up to pursue a professional career in sport,” Wharton, a pre-media arts freshman, said. During his time as a professional racer, neither he nor his older brother, also a professional motocross racer, attended traditional schooling. “We grew up in the culture and being home-schooled, we got to travel a lot when we were young, Florida to California, everywhere, pursuing sports.”

Wharton said he got his start racing when he was roughly 8-years-old while growing up in Pilot Point, Texas. He raced unsponsored until he was signed in 2008. Wharton then moved to California to soak in the “pro-moto lifestyle” and has now found himself back in his home state. He raced professionally until 2014 and has since taken a break to pursue other things, such as college.

“I think that this school represents all those things, music, the arts, film, I’m interested in,” Wharton said of UNT. “And I think they’re powerful tools to bring people together.”

Wharton said he is excited to take advantage of the music scene and creative side of Denton. Having grown up in the area, he knows some of what the town has to offer. He’s heard of the town’s infamous “house show” scene and he sees that this city thrives on its own talent.

“I’ve had the chance to see some of the local bands and I’ve also heard how good the Denton music scene is because I grew up here,” Wharton said. “You don’t really realize that this is one of the major music scenes in Texas. You have Houston, Austin, Deep Ellum and Denton.”

Blake Wharton, pre-media arts freshman and retired professional motocross athlete, has found his new home at the University of North Texas after a long career. Wharton was born in Pilot Point and started his career at 8-years-old. Jennyfer Rodriguez

Blake Wharton, pre-media arts freshman and retired professional motocross athlete, has found his new home at UNT after a long career. Wharton was born in Pilot Point and started his career at 8-years-old. Jennyfer Rodriguez

Nick Calton, a public relations senior and spokesperson for the athlete, says Wharton is dedicated to what he does. With many accolades in the motocross industry to talk about, Wharton has been devoted to his sport for many years. He’s been featured in publications like RacerX magazine and TransWorld Motocross.

“I’ve known his name since forever, since before I met him. He’s well known throughout the industry,” Calton, a self-proclaimed motorcycle enthusiast, said. “I was telling [him] how I’ve still got pictures of [him] on my camera from Supercross 2013.”

Courtney Nagore, a long time family friend to Wharton and community college massage therapy student in Arizona, says that Wharton seeks to find “knowledge for the sake of knowledge.” She says that Wharton works hard at what he does, and is surrounded by the motocross life. The sport is everything to the former racer, and Wharton said he wants to continue to work towards a media arts degree with that aspect in mind.

“This has been his whole life,” Nagroe said. “This is the next step. He’s hoping to use this as a way to bring people together through sport.”

The professional motocross life is not much different than that of other sports. Dedication to any sport is a full-time endeavor and can take a toll on someone, be it physically or mentally. Careers are sometimes short-lived and don’t always end as anticipated. An injury could be the end of one’s time in the limelight. For now, Wharton wants to make sure he focuses on getting a college education instead of risking not getting one at all.

“It’s like a pro-baseball career. One slip up and you’re out,” Wharton said. “You blow out your shoulder in baseball, you’re out. You screw up your knee and you’re out. Same thing with motocross.”

Wharton said he’s still involved with motocross, regardless of his break from professional racing. He says there’s a window of opportunity for pro-moto racers, and it’s important to take advantage of success during a career’s prime. An athlete’s career can see a year of stardom, or 10, depending on a lot of factors.

“You’re obviously not going to make a comeback if you’re 40,” Wharton said.

Featured Image: Blake Wharton, pre-media arts freshman and retired professional motocross athlete, has found his new home at the University of North Texas after a long career. Wharton was born in Pilot Point and started his career at 8-years-old. Jennyfer Rodriguez

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Kyle Martin

Kyle Martin

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3 Comments

  1. OldPro
    OldPro September 16, 23:02

    I’ve always admired Blakes mad skills as a MX racer, which requires mad skills and fitness. But he’s also quite an accomplished musician. #RipItSlash!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Teage
    Teage September 16, 23:04

    Great job man. Hang in there!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Mike
    Mike September 17, 10:48

    Nice feature on a great guy. Blake is a rock star in the world of moto and he’s a fantastic addition to the UNT student body.

    Reply to this comment

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