Rookie Of The Year – Zered Bassett

“I knew the kid was going places the second he strong-armed his way on tour with us (Zoo York) over five years ago. He’s been winning every demo since.”-Jeff Pang

In a day where it’s commonplace for more than a handful of pros to sit out consecutive demos for various reasons while on tour, Zered Bassett’s a team manager’s dream-skating every demo, wounded from battle or not, and still rallying the troops immediately afterward to gather footage for whatever video may or may not be in the works. In mid 2004, that video was Vicious Cycle, the semi-bootleg (originally only released via a few different Internet sites, later as a Zoo York promo) production from him and RB Umali, where Zered put out a mind-blowing part (or was that multiple parts?) just for the fu(n)(ck) of it.Growing up in the New England skatepark scene may have been what enabled Zered to be the transition and park killer that he is, but under the tutelage of guys like Boston’s Steve Nardone, as well as Pang (former Zoo TM) and the rest of the Zoo crew, allowed Zered to hone his grimy yet buttery style and varied bag of tricks. Whether it’s bonelesses to fakie down sixteen, ollie pivots to fakie in pools, switch overcrooks down handrails, ollie blasts across streets while headed full speed downhill, and switch tre flips off and over anything, Zered Bassett’s Rookie Of The Year title is well-deserved, particularly for being the most well-rounded new pro right now. Not to mention we’re talking about the kid who (while insisting he stay am) pretty much single-handedly held down the Zoo team (well, along with Forrest Kirby-we didn’t forget about ‘cha!) during the whole turnover incident last year.

Now at only twenty-one years old and having landed a spot on DVS right before the Skate More deadline time-a stacked all-star team you don’t exactly “mosey” your way onto, especially upon a major video drop-Zered’s got status to the point where we can’t even be mad at him for not being in attendance to accept his award at this year’s event. After all, he was out there doing his job, touring the world, promoting the video for his latest sponsor, and still continuing to uphold his reputation as team player and team manager’s dream-on board and off.-Eric Stricker