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Former Eastern Washington basketball star Austin McBroom is a YouTube sensation

Austin McBroom, a former standout point guard at Eastern Washington University, has become a YouTube sensation with his show, “ACE Family,” right, which stars his girlfriend Catherine and daughter Elle and is viewed by hundreds of thousands of people online. (YouTube/The Spokesman-Review archive)

The last time we saw Austin McBroom in person, he was knocking down shots for Eastern Washington in front of a few thousand fans at Reese Court and pondering a professional basketball career.

Now he’s back in Southern California and is watched every day by millions of adoring fans who can’t get enough of the (mostly) family-oriented YouTube videos that include his girlfriend Catherine Paiz and their one-year-old daughter Elle.

Together, they’re the ACE Family (for Austin, Catherine and Elle), and their video business is really clicking.

All their videos are professional quality, and their cuteness factor is off the charts. It doesn’t hurt that Catherine is a former fitness model and that Elle is a precocious toddler with an infectious smile.

McBroom is the pitchman. A former point guard, he runs the show like a pro.

He shines in a 19-minute video called “Introducing Potty Training.” It begins with a family shopping trip and ends with a teachable moment in the bathroom.

Even the toilet is cute (It’s pink, of course).

The ACE Family via YouTube

Filmed four weeks ago, that video drew 1.4 million views and the raves of ACE Family subscribers who seem to identify with this attractive young family.

Wrote one viewer: “It’s so refreshing and inspiring to see a ‘man’ excited to be a loving, providing, exuberant, caring father and husband. I’m so impressed.”

So are many others. The ACE Family is up to 1.4 million YouTube subscribers, with some videos getting more than seven million views.

And that’s not all. Austin and Catherine have more two million followers on Instagram and another 100,000 each on Twitter.

Fame isn’t their only reward. Those numbers should mean annual revenue of at least $250,000, not including earnings from product placement in videos.

The ACE family is doing that too. In one video, Elle plays in a tub filled with one million M&Ms. Another features a car giveaway, with the “Jeep” logo figuring prominently while the lucky winner cries in her driveway.

That one got one million views – small change compared to the car prank McBroom plays on his father: More than seven million have watched Allen McBroom anguish over the “damage” to his Range Rover.

The ACE Family via YouTube

Staged or not – no one was saying – it was all in good fun, and a lot more fun than Austin would be having on the basketball court in some far-off land.

A year ago, his father expected Austin to return from Cheney with basketball still on his mind.

After all, McBroom was the third-ranked 3-point shooter in the nation in his only season at Eastern, and his 21.5 points per game topped the charts in the Big Sky.

But even as McBroom transferred from St. Louis to Eastern in the summer of 2015, he began dating Catherine. Elle was born last summer, and that changed everything.

McBroom, a communications major at Eastern, began to dabble last year in social media, with uncommon success.

“He’s had more success than we could have imagined,” Allen McBroom said. “And he gets to be with his family every day.”

Austin McBroom didn’t respond to numerous interview requests, perhaps because his days are crammed full of special moments.

Some of them happen on Twitter. There’s Austin shooting water out of his mouth as Elle laughs; that one lasted just 20 seconds but got 57,000 likes and 29,000 retweets.

However, YouTube is the main event and Elle is the superstar. The latest hits include “Baby’s first Plane Ride,” “Baby Stuck in Ball Pit,” and “Baby’s First Birthday Party Special.” All ran at least 12 minutes – longer than some experts advise – but each drew at least 800,000 views.

Sometimes, cuteness gives way to risqué.

“Baby Gets a Tattoo,” filmed on April 25, opens with Catherine posing in a low-cut swimsuit. Fortunately, the most provocatively-titled videos – “A Day Without Our Baby” and “The Lick My Body Challenge” – manage to stay semi-wholesome.

Both topped one million views, and “The Lick My Body Challenge” drew one viewer comment that sums up the entire ACE Family.

Wrote fan “Xander O’Malley”: “I don’t know how you two do it but you put a smile on my face every time. I know I shouldn’t say this on social media but you two really saved my life.”