It’s been a while since the last “The TaLLK” interview session everything from scheduling conflicts, folks not emailing back the interview questions, so on and so forth lol…… Social media has a way of connecting people who may have never crossed paths in their everyday life. When this interviewee and I met in person it was at the audition for the Shaquille Oneal & JC Penney model search and we’ve been cool ever since. Outside of both being tall, we have both can be somewhat laid back and introverted which could also be a factor in us being able to connect with each other so well. I can go on and on about how good of a guy Daniel McKinley Sullen is but I’ll let his interview give you more insight on who Daniel is……… & we’re back here’s “The TaLLK”!!!
Name: Daniel McKinley Sullen
Marital Status: Single
Location: Tuskegee, Alabama
Occupation: 4-H Foundation Regional Agent
Who is Daniel McKinley Sullen?
Hmmmmm…Daniel is someone who is trying to make a difference in this world and spread positive vibes wherever he goes. He is a nice down to earth guy from Tuskegee.
When did you take notice of your height or that you were tall?
I was average height growing up until I hit my growth spurt when I turned 14. That summer, I went from 5’10 to 6’3.
How did your height make you different?
It didn’t change who I was as a person but it did enhance my abilities as a basketball player.
How often do you get asked questions about your height?
On average about twice a day. Whenever I go into stores I am asked about my height. I work with youth so every time they see me they ask. It has become a good ice breaker when meeting new students.
Did your height/size impact your life differently over the years?
Over the years it has forced me to come out of my shell. Growing up I was very shy and more of an introvert. But as I grew taller I could no longer blend in with a crowd of people. My height has forced me to come out of my shell and embrace being noticed.
You’re a former college athlete do you have any desire to coach or participate in athletics now?
I have coached a youth team once before but I quickly realize that I should probably let someone else handle the job…someone who would be more “effective”. I do play rec league basketball every now and again but not as often as I use to.
Where did you attend college how was your experience as a student-athlete?
I attended Fort Valley State University and was a member of the men’s basketball team from 1999 – 2003. My first semester was a huge adjustment. Learning to balance school and college basketball life was a struggle. But I adjusted eventually and it has become one of the best experiences of my life.
What advice would you give student-athletes now?
I would advise all student-athletes to look up some helpful information on time management because that was the source of my early struggles. I would tell them to take advantage of this time because it doesn’t last forever. Play every game like it’s a championship game and make sure you improve your craft during practice. Most of all HAVE FUN!
What are some of your biggest challenges when it comes to shopping?
The biggest challenge is finding clothes or shoes in my size that I like. Usually big and tall section clothes are geared toward a certain age group…so if you are a young big and tall shopper, you probably won’t find anything age-appropriate. I also find it hard to find clothes that fit properly. I have a tall athletic build and I try to find more fitted clothing. However, most big and tall clothing has a baggy fit for my build. When it comes to shoes, it’s very rare to find a size 15 in any store.
How would you describe your style?
I guess I consider myself a very conservative dresser. I am usually wearing something simple that has a pretty good fit. However, every so often, I like to switch it up and will wear something a little flashy. But for the most part, I keep it simple and easy.
photo by: Rah Mosley
What are some brands that you always wear?
I really enjoy Perry Ellis shirts…I love the simplicity and they fit me really well. I am a huge shoe fanatic. I love Jordans, Timberlands, Cole Hann, Stacy Adams, Allen Edmond, Kenneth Cole, Steve Maddens, Florsheim, Amali, Clark’s Asher Green, Carrucci, Steven Lands, Taft, and Calvin Klein.
What are your top 3 must-haves as a big & tall guy?
1. A full-length floor mirror…it’s impossible to see what I am wearing in a bathroom mirror.
2. California King Bed…I got one two years ago and never slept better.
3. A good tailor…I am learning so much about how a suit that is tailored look so much better.
You are currently working on your Ph.D. tell us a little more about that?
I am pursuing my Ph.D. at Auburn University in Adult Education. My focus will be on how youth can influence and educate economically disadvantaged adults in Alabama. I have completed all of my classwork and will give myself an entire year for research and writing.
photo by: Rah Mosley
What made you decide to pursue your doctorates?
It has always been a goal of mine to have a Ph.D. It is important for youth to see other doctors around them. They soak up everything we do as adults and they watch everything we say. So I have made the youth I serve aware of the fact that I am still in school pursuing my education. I hope that they will soak up that information and not be afraid to pursue higher levels of education.
What will be the first thing you do when you have completed your program?
Fall to my knees and thank God!!!!!!!
Name three songs you have in constant rotation now, and why?
1. Walter Hawkins – “Thank You”…I am so thankful for everything the Lord has done for me and this helps me remember.
2. Desiree – “You Gotta Be”…this song is so inspiring to me and helps me to stay motivated.
3. Deee-Lite – “Groove Is in the Heart”…man this song is soo much fun and makes me feel good…it reminds me of my childhood.
You recently begin to step into the world of Big & Tall Modeling what brought on that decision?
I have been told by so many people that I should try to model. I decided to try modeling because I figured it’s something that would be fun…and so far..it has been a lot of fun. It also helps me to continue my evolution of coming out of my shell. I am learning so much about fashion and myself.
What are some goals you would like to accomplish through modeling? Any particular designer you admire or would like to model for?
I would love to be featured in more fashion shows and possibly a magazine. Ultimately, my goal is to continue to enjoy this experience and keep learning about fashion. I would like to take a stab at designing someday…but we shall see. I would love to model for Michael Kors and MVP.
What’s been your favorite part of modeling so far photo shoots or fashion shows?
Just soaking up the entire experience and meeting cool people who are passionate about what they do. I enjoy pushing myself to try something new and different. I love learning about all things fashion.
1. Are you usually early or late? Early
2. What do you wish you knew more about? Stock Market
3. What age do you wish you could permanently be? 40
4. What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch? Fox News
5. What is the most annoying question that people ask you? Why didn’t you play in the NBA?
6. What’s your dream car? Tesla Pickup Truck
7. What quirks do you have? I like the smell of a vacuum cleaner
8. What type of self-care do you enjoy most? Pedicure
9. What movie title best describes your life? Pay It Forward
10. Favorite food? Spaghetti
What’s next for Daniel?
I am not sure what is next…PhD…and new truck….a house….marriage…kids??? But I have learned that everything happens in its own time. I have desires of my heart and I know God has it all under control. Ultimately, I just want to make a difference with the life I have been given.
Is there anything else you would like for readers to know about you?