The untold truth of The Ace Family

What do you get when you pair up a college basketball player and an Instagram influencer? A love story for the ages, some adorable kids, and a wildly entertaining social media sensation. Enter The Ace Family, one of the hottest families on YouTube right now. The family is young, attractive, and committed to entertaining their legions of fans by vlogging their day-to-day lives (and occasionally pranking each other).

The Ace Family consists of Catherine Paiz, former basketball star Austin McBroom, and their daughters, Elle and Alaïa. Taking their name from the first letters of the original three members of the family, Austin, Catherine, and Elle, The Ace Family has attracted more than 15 million subscribers since launching their YouTube channel in 2016. Now, their once-humble vlog is a full time enterprise and is growing bigger every day. If you can't get enough of The Ace Family, keep reading to learn the untold truth about this amazing couple and their kids.

It was love at first sight for McBroom

McBroom said that he knew he had something special with Paiz right from the very beginning, although he joked that it was Paiz who was immediately smitten. "We met at a little like party dinner thing," he told Power 106 Los Angeles. "Got there, shook her hand, and she was thinking about me ever since."

After their first date (dinner at Nobu), things started to get serious for McBroom, although it took Paiz a little bit longer to warm up. After their first date, McBroom didn't get so much as a good night hug, let alone a good night kiss. Still, they kept seeing each other and it wasn't long before McBroom confessed his love. Paiz, who was still getting her bearings in the new relationship, "just kind of ignored" the declaration, according to McBroom. "I wasn't used to that to be honest," said Paiz. "I just wasn't used to like, things happening so quick, and things being so real so quick."

McBroom added, "Yo, that s*** was quick."

Paiz didn't think their relationship would last when they first started dating

While McBroom knew that he had deep feelings for Paiz from day one, Paiz was less optimistic about the future of their relationship. In a YouTube video, the Paiz answered questions from fans. One viewer asked how long Paiz thought their relationship was going to last when she and McBroom started dating.

"Not as long as it has," Paiz said, to McBroom's shock. "Or that it's going to be. And this is the thing, this is the reason why. It's because when we met, every single relationship leading to that point has always ended. And so my initial thought was it's probably not going to last, just because every other time hasn't. And it was at the point of my life where I was like 'I think I'm going to be single forever.'"

McBroom said that her negative attitude could have ended up sabotaging their relationship, but Paiz insisted that this was impossible. "I really do think that Austin and I are meant to be in every way possible," she said. "Literally, to every single extent we are meant to be."

A psychic predicted Paiz's future when she was 10

In their very first YouTube video, McBroom and Paiz discussed the future of The Ace Family. Paiz said that she would be good having two or three more kids, although she had a feeling that she'd end up with three kids total because of a prediction that had been made over a decade earlier.

"Well a psychic told me that I was gonna have three when I was like 10 years old," she said.  "And she told me that I was gonna meet Austin. And I didn't know afterwards, like after I met Austin and after everything happened in our lives, I ended up realizing that the psychic was right about everything she said. And I completely forget till everything actually happened. And so yeah, she said I was gonna have three."

McBroom said that he'd be good having three kids, but did have one caveat. "We're not stopping until I have a little mini me," he said. "A little boy."

Paiz has been working since she was 16

She might live the life of a famous celebrity today, but Paiz's life hasn't always been so glamorous. The YouTube star is no stranger to hard work, and has been working nonstop at a variety of jobs since she was in her teens.

"I've been working my whole life," she said in The Ace Family's first YouTube video. "I've always had a job since I was like 16. And I didn't go to college. I moved to China after high school and I was there for quite some time. …I came back and went straight to work. I moved to Miami and I managed a venue, and I worked at a hedge fund, and I've done like so many different things."

She said that her ultimate goal is to have her own gym wear line, something she had started to work on before becoming pregnant with Elle. While she and McBroom teased that a gym wear line might still be in her future, their YouTube career has turned into a full time business, so it might be a little bit longer before Paiz launches her own line.  

Is McBroom's college major the reason for the family's success?

Schools don't exactly offer courses in how to become a YouTube star, but McBroom's education nevertheless helped The Ace Family make it to the top. The former college basketball player didn't spend all of his college years on the court. McBroom also worked hard at his classes, majoring in communications. Many people expected McBroom to continue on with his promising basketball talent and turn it into a professional career. Instead of going to the pros, though, the star athlete found a surprising use for his education. 

No one expected The Ace Family to become as popular as they did, not even members of McBroom's family. While their fame was unexpected, McBroom's dad Allen couldn't be happier for his son. "He's had more success than we could have imagined," Allen told The Spokesman Review. "And he gets to be with his family every day."

They've been accused of being bad role models

Controversy erupted early in 2019 after McBroom bought a penis-shaped lollipop for a little girl thought to be a member of the extended family. The video, which was shared on Snapchat, was later posted on Twitter by a user unrelated to The Ace Family who called McBroom "disgusting" in the caption. In the video, McBroom explained why he purchased the candy for the child. "She said she was going to steal it if I didn't buy it, so better me buy it," he said.

Critics accused McBroom of sexualizing the child, saying that it was inappropriate that she was brought to a store with sexual items in the first place, and the fact that she was given the adult-themed candy was even more problematic. In spite of the widespread backlash against McBroom and The Ace Family, neither McBroom nor Paiz commented on the controversial video.

McBroom has come under fire for some of his tweets about women

This wasn't the first time that the public has gotten mad at The Ace Family. In 2018, some of McBroom's old tweets were dug up that said some less-than-flattering things about black women. "If you like em nice rachet [sic], black with the cheeks without morals… the city of St. Louis is for you," read one now-deleted tweet from 2013 (via BuzzFeed). Another tweet from that year said "St. Louis is scaring me away from black girls…..blondes with blue eyes are looking more appealing !"

McBroom was also criticized for some of his comments about Asian women, such as a tweet from 2012 where he wrote "I need a massage, where my lil asians ?" Other tweets seemed to be demeaning towards women in general. "I sit behind two of the hairiest females  I have ever witnessed in my math class. #wow" McBroom wrote in 2011.

McBroom refused to apologize for the controversy

McBroom defended himself after the controversy broke out, enlisting his mother's help in a YouTube video. "They said that your son is racist towards black people," McBroom said in the video. His mom responded "Okay, that would affect me too right? I am black."

She excused her son's comments, saying that they were made because McBroom is a "jokester." She and McBroom added that his comments couldn't be racist because he himself is black, white, Mexican, and Puerto Rican.  "Our family is international," said McBroom's mother. "Every possibility, it's in there. When you go to our family functions, what are they? Every nation is there. So we can't claim any one nation. We actually have to claim them all."

McBroom's mother called his critics "bottom feeders" and encouraged him to stay positive. "You can't focus on these people," she said. "The energy needs to go to making things better and doing what you do and giving back to everybody. And you guys do that well."

Basketball isn't the only sport McBroom excels at

McBroom made a name for himself as a skilled basketball player, but the athlete isn't just a basketball phenomenon. He's got talent in other sports, too. "I played three sports in high school," he said in a YouTube video. "I played football, basketball, and baseball. And I was pretty decent at all three."

He ended up focusing his athletic career on basketball because it was his favorite sport of the three. McBroom said that it was basketball that always captured his attention and his heart. "Baseball was just too slow for me," he said. "And then football, I hate getting tackled. I would just run all over the field. …Basketball is just something I was always in love with. Couldn't get bored with basketball."

He's not the only athlete in the family, either. Paiz also has a pretty diverse athletic resume. "I played hockey, soccer, and volleyball, and I did swimming growing up," she said.

Paiz is trilingual

McBroom might be the one with the degree in communications, but Paiz is the one who can communicate all over the world. The mom of two doesn't just speak English, but is also fluent in a couple more languages. "I speak three languages," Paiz said in a YouTube video. "English, French, and Spanish." Both of Paiz's parents were born and raised in Panama, so she grew up speaking both Spanish and English at home.

"And then, as I grew older, I had to go to French school because I'm French Canadian," she said. "The only schools that were available to me were in French. …So yeah, I had to learn French." By the time she was in first grade, Paiz was trilingual.

While not fluent, McBroom also studied some French in school and added that he's trying to learn some Spanish alongside his daughter who is being raised to speak the language by her mom.

Catherine isn't her real first name

The world may know Paiz as Catherine, but that isn't the first name that's on her birth certificate. "My real name isn't Catherine," she said in a YouTube video. "Catherine is actually my middle name. My first name is something else… it's an older lady name." Paiz added that she was always embarrassed of her name growing up. As she grew older, however, she began to appreciate her name more because of the special story that is behind it.

Paiz was named after her mother's foster mother. After learning she was pregnant, Catherine's father impulsively told her mom's foster mother that they would name their baby after her — without knowing what her first name was. Paiz's mom wasn't thrilled about saddling her daughter with such an old-fashioned name. She honored the promise, but always called her daughter by her middle name, Catherine. While Paiz refused to reveal her real first name in the video, Hollywood Mask reported that the YouTube celeb's full name is Dolores Catherine Johnston Paiz.

They've got musical chops

While, strictly speaking, McBroom and Paiz aren't musicians, they've dabbled in music and have done a pretty good job with it. In 2017, they released a music video called "You're My ACE" which has racked up more than 21 million views. The song was co-produced by Glenn Travis, who also performs "Feel My Love," the song used in the intro to The Ace Family's videos.  In the comments, The Ace Family stressed that the former video was "all for fun" and said that they don't consider themselves artists. The song is heavy on the auto tune, but is surprisingly catchy.

The following year they announced that they were working on another song, although it has yet to be released, much to the disappointment to their many fans who are eager for their next tune to drop. Artists or not, The Ace Family might just turn into recording artists in the future if their followers have anything to say about it.

Parenting has been pretty easy for them

Many, if not most, new parents struggle to adjust to having a baby in the house. For The Ace Family, however, becoming parents for the first time was not just exciting, but also surprisingly easy. "I don't think there is no tough part," McBroom told Power 106 Los Angeles. "I think it's all fun, because we get to just act crazy… especially me. I'm just a crazy person."

According to Paiz, Elle was quite the well behaved baby. "We honestly have a really great kid," she said. "She's such a good baby. I've never had a sleepless night with her. She's such a good baby. She hardly ever cries. It's funny because in our videos people always say 'I've never seen Elle cry,' and it's true. She just never cries and it's so easy to film." McBroom added, "She only cries when she wants milk."

"It's crazy how fast we grew"

They might have become a household name seemingly overnight, but the magnitude of their fame hasn't really hit The Ace Family. "We don't see ourselves like that," said Paiz when asked by Power 106 Los Angeles if they consider themselves to be YouTube celebrities. "It's crazy how fast we grew. I see ourselves as, you know, a regular family. …I wouldn't say we're celebs, but… I mean, yeah, the fans see us like that."

To the couple, making a living off of YouTube is just fun. While they're definitely perfectionists, and will delete a completed video if they don't think that it's YouTube ready, they don't feel too stressed out by their channel because they love it so much. "It's not pressure because it comes so natural to us," said Paiz. "It's work, but it's not really work because we're being ourselves." McBroom added, "We're waking up every morning just doing what we do."

"Consistency is the number one key"

According to The Ace Family, the best way to succeed with a family vlog is to take your time and to pace yourself. "First of all, consistency is the number one key," Paiz told Power 106 Los Angeles. "Be true to yourself."

McBroom warned prospective vloggers to stay focused on their own channels and not to expect to be like the leading YouTube stars right away. "I think everybody, you know, sets expectations too high," he said. "Especially when they see a family like us. …That's how we were. When we first started, we looked up to a couple people and we were like 'Damn… how do we get like them. …But people can only get like that if you start. It takes time."

McBroom also echoed Paiz and stressed the importance of consistency. He said, "So, as soon as you start, just get used to the camera, and just you know believe in yourself and know it's gonna come as long as you just work hard and be consistent. I think that's the biggest thing."