ANGOLA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Like many kids, skateboarding caught the eye of Angola’s Jake Donnelly at a young age.
“Kids were doing it in school and on my street and stuff,” Donnelly said. “My dad would drop me off down there with my piece of crap skateboard.”
A hobby transitioned into a passion and Jake quickly determined that skateboarding is what he was meant to do.
“I’d take the bus all the way into Buffalo to skate because a lot of guys around here didn’t skate.”
Those bus rides turned into a plane trip to the west coast.
“I met the right people out there and they took me under their wing and here I am today.”
Now Jake is a pro skateboarder with a shoe deal with Adidas and he rides for Real Skateboards. The experiences have paved the way for an exciting life. Jake just wrapped a three year project filming “Away Days” with the Adidas team, a film that debuted in May.
“We have just been traveling everywhere and places I never thought I would be…it has been crazy.”
Jake’s career as a professional has taken him all over the world yet, he always returns to western New York and the Town of Evans where he played a major role in getting the area’s first skate park built.
“We had meetings here at the Town Hall and we got enough signatures and we got it made. We skated it every day so it is still worth something.”
And that something will always be a part of Jake no matter how far he travels or how many tricks he lands. He is constantly reminded of how hard he worked to get from Angola, New York to the spotlight of the pro skateboarding world.
“Oh yeah, it has hit me. I always think about how lucky and how fortunate I am that I stayed with it and actually made something of it.”