Tag Archives: basketball

Ones Basketball League Crowns Atlanta Regional Champion at CORE4 in Chamblee; Awards $10,000 Prize

Ones Basketball League (OBL) — the first-ever elite competition that celebrates the most skilled one-on-one players on the planet and created by Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady – crowned its second Regional Champion at CORE4 in Chamblee, Georgia, on Saturday and Sunday. A total of 32 top area and national-level basketball players squared off in spirited action, and it was Glen Rice Jr. (Marietta, Ga.), Antonio Hester (Miami) and Tiras Wade (Tampa) who took the top three places in a weekend filled with exciting and high-quality play across the board.

Rice, the OBL (@oblhoops) Atlanta Regional Champion and recipient of the $10,000 prize, seeded fifth after a 6-1 record on Saturday despite an injured lower leg, won the Championship match, 9-7, over Hester, who had qualified as the #2 seed after going a perfect 7-0 in pool play. Wade, the #1 seed who was also unbeaten at 7-0 on Saturday, bested Atlanta’s Phil Taylor in the third-place game. At 40, Wade was the oldest competitor in the field. All three now advance to the OBL Finals in Las Vegas this summer (dates and location TBA).

“This league is giving players an opportunity to show what they can do, and these three guys took advantage with great play all weekend,” said McGrady. “We are proud that they will be representing the Atlanta region in Las Vegas.”

“It was fun competing with this group of guys, playing a game that we love and seeing who was the best at it,” said Rice, 31, who starred collegiately at Georgia Tech. “I don’t know where everybody came from, but the competition level was great both days. It was better than I expected.”

Tracy McGrady and Dikembe Mutombo

“It was love, man. I enjoyed this weekend and it was such a blessing to be here,” added the powerful Hester, 31, who played at Miami Dade and the University of Mobile and has competed professionally overseas for more than a decade. “Getting to compete with all these pros, it was definitely another level.”

In last week’s inaugural event in Houston, John Jordan, 29, of Houston was the champion. Jordan and H-Town Regional runner-up Matt Kiatipis were both on hand in Atlanta to take in the action. OBL’s next regional event is May 21-22 at Chicago Hope Academy Athletic Center.

Following Chicago, the remainder of the regional schedule is as follows:
• New York City, May 28-29 (Major R. Owens Community Center hosted by New Heights, Brooklyn, NY)
• The DMV, June 4-5 (The St. James, Springfield, VA)
• The Bay Area, June 11-12 (The Ultimate Fieldhouse, Walnut Creek, CA)
• Los Angeles, TBD (TBD)

The winner of each regional tournament will take home a $10,000 cash prize along with an invitation to the Finals, which will see 21 players (the top three from each region) compete for a chance to win a $250,000 grand prize and be crowned “Ruler of the Court.”

OBL media partners include SLAM Media, Playmaker, and Heart and Hustle Productions. Follow Ones Basketball League at https://www.oblhoops.com/.

Ones Basketball League Crowns First-Ever Regional Champion at Dub Sports Zone in Houston

Ones Basketball League (OBL) — the first-ever elite competition that celebrates the most skilled one-on-one players on the planet and created by Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady – got off to a rousing start with its debut event at The Dub Sports Zone in Richmond, Texas, on Saturday and Sunday. A total of 32 top area and national-level basketball players squared off in spirited action, and it was Texas residents who took the top three places in a weekend filled with exciting and high-quality play across the board.

The OBL Houston Regional champion, and recipient of the $10,000 prize, is John Jordan, 29, of Houston. Jordan, the second seed, defeated runner-up Matt Kiatipis, 21, of Austin (by way of Canada and Simon Fraser University), 9-5, in the finals. Taking third was Myron Taylor, 29, of Killeen. All three now advance to the OBL Finals in Las Vegas this summer (dates and location TBD).

McGrady couldn’t have been happier with the league’s first action.

“The first weekend in Houston was what we expected when we envisioned OBL,” said the seven-time NBA All-Star. “The level and quality of play was outstanding, the facility was first rate, the production was world-class, and we have our first qualifiers for the road to Las Vegas.

“Now it’s on to Atlanta for Week Two,” he added.

John Jordan

“It’s Championship Sunday, this is where champions are made,” said Jordan, who played collegiately at TAMU-Corpus Christi. “I took a tough ‘L’ yesterday and I bounced back, because that’s what champions do.”

Jordan, who arrived back in the U.S. from overseas in Romania just in time to compete in the inaugural OBL event, was also effusive in his praise of the league.

“This is a really big-time league,” he added. “This is the first time they’ve had this league. I know from here on it’s gonna be tougher. Everyone sees (OBL) is real. The money is real. I’m just happy I won the first year.”

Kiatipis, one of the youngest competitors in the field, is also excited about qualifying for the OBL Finals.

“I’m excited to be going to Las Vegas,” said the sixth seed who started slowly but finished strong to earn the spot. “I expected to be going and it’s going to be a big show out there.”

Taylor, the eighth seed, rallied to beat Jamal North in the third-place game.

OBL’s next regional event is this coming week in Atlanta on May 7-8 at CORE4 Atlanta, in Chamblee, Georgia.

The rest of the regional schedule is as follows:

  • Chicago, May 21-22 (Chicago Hope Academy Athletic Center, Chicago, IL)
  • New York City, May 28-29 (Major R. Owens Community Center hosted by New Heights, Brooklyn, NY)
  • The DMV, June 4-5 (The St. James, Springfield, VA)
  • The Bay Area, June 11-12 (The Ultimate Fieldhouse, Walnut Creek, CA)
  • Los Angeles, TBD (TBD)

The winner of each regional tournament will take home a $10,000 cash prize along with an invitation to the Finals, which will see 21 players (the top three from each region) compete for a chance to win a $250,000 grand prize and be crowned “Ruler of the Court.”

Media partners include SLAM Media, Playmaker, and Heart and Hustle Productions.

Follow Ones Basketball League at https://www.oblhoops.com/.

Ones Basketball League Starts to Score with Media Partners

Ones Basketball League (OBL) — the first-ever elite competition that will celebrate the most skilled one-on-one players on the planet and created by Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady — today announced its initial roster of storytelling and media partners. SLAM Media, Playmaker, and Heart and Hustle Productions will all help OBL capture and distribute short-form digital content during this inaugural and proof-of-concept season.

“Our initial focus is on short form digital storytelling to capture the journey of our competitors and we know SLAM, Playmaker, and Heart and Hustle are a winning combination to help us shine a bright light on the essence of basketball and exciting young stars headed our way,” said Lisle Bowen, OBL’s Creative Director. “SLAM is the definitive voice of basketball culture, Playmaker has an elite influencer network that will amplify OBL’s reach, and Heart and Hustle Productions’ extraordinary production team will capture all of the rich stories we find on and off the court.”

The three partners each bring a unique expertise to OBL this season:

SLAM Media will co-produce OBL digital content in and around every event this season, build the OBL storytelling platform week-to-week, and drive engagement with its ardent basketball and pop culture audience of more than 16 million.

Playmaker will amplify OBL’s content and brand. expand the league’s social media presence, and integrate Playmaker social media talent into the OBL experience, and expose OBL to an audience in excess of 12 million at launch.

Heart and Hustle Productions’ world-class production team will capture every moment of the inaugural OBL season, produce compelling stories from on and off the court, and ensure the league is well positioned to engage with its growing audience on the platforms and media that matter most.

“What Tracy has created with the OBL is exactly what basketball needs: innovation, fun, and pure competition,” said Les Green, SLAM CEO. “It’s right in line with what we want to provide to our SLAM audience and coming from T-Mac, a living legend and multiple SLAM Cover athlete, makes the partnership even sweeter.”

“OBL is one of the most exciting leagues to come out in a long time. It’s one of those ideas that’s so obviously great that you have no clue why it hasn’t been done,” said Brandon Harris Founder and CEO Playmaker. “At Playmaker, we are obsessed with creating fast paced, high action short form content. OBL could not be more aligned with our brand and content strategy and we couldn’t be more excited to be on this ride as partners from the very start with Tracy McGrady, as well as Lisle Bowen & the amazing OBL team.”

“T-Mac’s idea to create The Ones Basketball League is a revolutionary idea and one that will bring the culture of basketball full circle,” said Rashad Floyd, Founder and Executive Director, Heart and Hustle Productions. “There’s no question how deeply rooted the 1 v 1 competition is to the hoop game and now with OBL, the world gets to witness these matchups on a professional level.”

Beginning this weekend, seven cities across the United States will host a two-day, regional, 32-player round-robin knockout tournament with athletes aged 18 and up who are currently not under an NBA contract and have not been on an active NBA roster for more than 164 games (equivalent to two NBA regular seasons). The participants will come from a combination of open-sourced video submissions and the advice of basketball insiders. The aim is to welcome both best-in-class talent and players who may still be under the radar of most basketball fans. The inaugural events this year will feature only men, and women will be welcomed as equal participants as soon as 2023.

The regional tournament schedule for the first season of the OBL season is:

Houston, April 30-May 1 (The Dub Sports Zone, Richmond, TX)

Atlanta, May 7-8 (CORE4 Atlanta, Chamblee, GA)

Chicago, May 21-22 (Chicago Hope Academy Athletic Center, Chicago, IL)

New York City, May 28-29 (Major R. Owens Community Center hosted by New Heights, Brooklyn, NY)

The DMV, June 4-5 (The St. James, Springfield, VA)

The Bay Area, June 11-12 (The Ultimate Fieldhouse, Walnut Creek, CA)

Los Angeles, TBD (TBD)

The winner of each regional tournament will take home a $10,000 cash prize along with an invitation to the Finals, which will see 21 players (the top three from each region) compete for a chance to win a $250,000 grand prize and be crowned “Ruler of the Court.”

Follow Ones Basketball League at https://www.oblhoops.com/.

NABC, WBCA Back New Coach-Powered Media Company

Inspired by coaches from college basketball and beyond, an influential team of participants has announced the launch of and investment in Coaches+, a new media company that will develop and produce premium content and intellectual property while partnering with the widest range of distribution platforms to engage audiences globally.

Coaches+ is backed by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), organizations that combined represent more than 8,000 coaches across all levels of college, scholastic and youth basketball. The NABC and WBCA share an associated audience footprint of more than 190 million college alumni and more than a billion fans and followers on social media.

Coaches+ content initiatives currently in development include premium TV programming and podcasts, live games and events, philanthropic projects, education and instructional curricula, media collectibles and a “Coaches Creator” program to provide new opportunities and resources to coaches at every level.

NABC Executive Director Craig Robinson laid out the vision for Coaches+ to the organization’s membership at the NABC Convention, being held in New Orleans alongside the Men’s Final Four.

“The NABC is thrilled to take part in the launch of Coaches+, and we’re confident that this new initiative will create tangible benefits for our members from all levels of the sport,” Robinson said. “The ability of Coaches+ to develop and produce high-quality content will amplify our coaches’ unique stories and the NABC’s core values of leadership, education, inclusion, service and advocacy.”

As part of announcements at their respective organizations’ annual conventions, Robinson and WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew introduced a new Coaches+ funding round, backed by investments from the NABC, the WBCA and a group of individual investors.

“The impact and influence of coaches has never been more evident or important,” Donehew said. “Our investment and enthusiastic participation in Coaches+ is about our commitment to create new opportunities for our coaches and WBCA members in the always-evolving media ecosystem.”

Coaches+ was incubated in partnership with and additional investment from TeamWorks Media, a content studio based in Chicago that has developed and produced a wide range of award-winning sports programming, media properties and “in real life” content experiences.

“The best content has always been a mix of accessibility, authenticity and authority, which also happens to be qualities shared by the best coaches,” TeamWorks Media co-founder and CEO Jay Sharman said. “Coaches+ is a unique opportunity to create the highest level of programming that engages the widest range of passionate audiences through powerful, meaningful stories.”

For the remainder of 2022 and into 2023, Coaches+ will be accelerated out of TeamWorks Media’s studio in downtown Chicago, ahead of the selection of a location for a permanent Coaches+ studio and event space.

For more information, visit coachesplus.com or follow the company on social media (@coachesplus).

Ones Basketball Association Unveils Schedule and Venues for First Season of One-on-One Basketball

Seven-time NBA All-Star, Basketball Hall-of-Famer, and entrepreneur Tracy McGrady today unveiled the regional schedule and venues for the launch of the Ones Basketball Association, a first-ever elite competition that will celebrate the most skilled one-on-one players on the planet.

The first year of regional competition will take place in seven cities across the United States, beginning the weekend of April 30th in Houston and concluding in June. The 2022 Finals for the Ones Basketball Association will take place in July.

McGrady has also announced that media and sports industry veteran Jeffrey Pollack has signed on as a strategic advisor to help lead business planning and operations and create best-in-class events and experiences.

“Our goal this year is to test and preview how we should best spotlight and celebrate the competition, raw athletic talent, and extraordinary skills of these young rising stars,” McGrady said. “We are proud to partner with Jeffrey Pollack, who will help us develop our game plan on and off the court. His input is already invaluable to me, as we take our first steps as a startup league and set the foundation for a global basketball property that will create more opportunities for athletes and fans and tell new basketball stories.”

“In many ways this is the first-ever pop-up sports league,” said Pollack. “We are moving fast, tipping off quickly, and excited to publicly share our proof-of-concept with the basketball community and sports industry. Early feedback will be vital to our planning efforts, and we are ready to test, listen, and learn throughout this first season. Players, fans, and partners will have a rare opportunity to co-create the Ones Basketball Association with Tracy and our team, and it’s exciting to help launch a new celebration of basketball excellence.”

Elissa Grabow, McGrady’s long-time business manager, has also joined the leadership team to help turn McGrady’s vision into reality. “Working for Tracy McGrady for the past 25 years has been the ride of a lifetime and this journey is a true labor of love,” said Grabow. “Tracy is inspired and focused and it all comes from the purest place: his heart. It is an honor to be on this team and help develop the Ones Basketball Association into something special that we believe will build community, provide hope and opportunity, and create a new way to fall in love with the game of basketball.”

Beginning in April, seven cities across the United States will host a two-day, regional, 32-player round-robin knockout tournament with athletes aged 18 and up who are currently not under an NBA contract and have not been on an active NBA roster for more than 164 games (equivalent to two NBA regular seasons). The participants will come from a combination of open-sourced video submissions and the advice of basketball insiders. The aim is to welcome both best-in-class talent and players who may still be under the radar of most basketball fans. The inaugural events this year will feature only men, and women will be welcomed as equal participants as soon as 2023.

The regional tournament schedule for the first season of the Ones Basketball Association season is:
· Houston, April 30-May 1 (The Dub Sports Zone, Richmond, TX)
· Atlanta, May 7-8 (CORE4 Atlanta, Chamblee, GA)
· Chicago, May 21-22 (Chicago Hope Academy Athletic Center, Chicago, IL)
· New York City, May 28-29 (Major R. Owens Community Center hosted by New Heights, Brooklyn, NY)
· The DMV, June 4-5 (The St. James, Springfield, VA)
· The Bay Area, June 11-12 (The Ultimate Fieldhouse, Walnut Creek, CA)
· Los Angeles, TBD (TBD)

The winner of each regional tournament will take home a $10,000 cash prize along with an invitation to the Finals, which will see 21 players (the top three from each region) compete for a chance to win a $250,000 grand prize and be crowned “Ruler of the Court.”

Venues this first year will have very limited public seating, in order to keep the current focus on the athletes, their stories, and the competitive format.
Jeffrey Pollack is a sports business executive and Emmy-Award winner with more than 25 years of leadership experience driving catalytic change, growth, and innovation for family-owned, private-equity-backed, and corporate-based ventures. He was most recently President and CEO of the XFL.

Pollack has been lauded for helping businesses and brands rethink, recalibrate, and evolve, and he has held both executive and advisory roles with the NBA, NASCAR, World Series of Poker, Professional Bull Riders, and Los Angeles Chargers. Pollack is founder of The Sports Business Daily, the original daily trade publication for the sports industry.

The field for each regional tournament, along with content and media partners, elite player ambassadors, and details about the 2022 Finals, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Follow Ones Basketball Association at https://www.obahoops.com/.

New York Mobile Handle Could Reach $400 Million For First NCAA Tournament

ew York already has hit the heights since launching mobile sports wagering in mid-January. Now the Empire State will make its first descent into madness.
March Madness, that is.

When the New York State Gaming Commission releases its full February figures, the state’s two monthly handles of 2022 will rank first (January) and second (February) in the all-time national post-PASPA era that began in 2018. Not everyone anticipated such a fast start, with many expecting New York to need time to mature before reaching the top of the list and becoming, in the words of Frank Sinatra, “A-number one.”

The Super Bowl, which is the largest single sports betting event in the U.S., has come and gone, and conventional wisdom suggests New York generated the highest handle of any state — but nobody knows for sure, since the NYSGC did not provide official handle and revenue figures from the game. March brings the NCAA Tournament, joining the Super Bowl in the top two of annual betting events and unmatched in terms of drama coming from all angles at a frenetic pace over the course of three-plus weeks.
The largest unofficial betting event in the form of office pools now takes center stage in legal fashion in New York. Eight mobile operators, entrenched to varying degrees, will offer Final Four futures wagers and more, plus various betting lines on up to 66 of the tournament’s 67 games.

After bettors showed a monstrous appetite for the Super Bowl, wagering will again be robust throughout the final two weekends of March and the first one in April. After examining weekly mobile handle figures in New York since launch, basketball-specific wagering across multiple states from 2019 through 2021, and other assorted factors as points of comparison, NY Online Gambling projects mobile betting handle in the Empire State on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament will be between $375 million and $400 million.

That’s wagers to be placed at legal online sportsbooks in New York after the NCAA announced the seeds and brackets on Sunday. Using the industry standard win rate of 7%, mobile operator revenue from that handle would range from $26.3 million to $28 million. With New York’s 51% tax rate on mobile revenue, the state would receive between $13.4 million and $14.3 million.

The NCAA Tournament vs. The Super Bowl
Projecting the Empire State’s NCAA Tournament handle can be challenging. New York has generated weekly handle that would rank in the top 10 nationally for monthly handle every full week since launch. The nearly $360 million in handle for the week ending March 6 was the fourth week in five that New York has posted handle between $350 million and $360 million.

The outlier in that stretch was Super Bowl week, in which handle totaled $472.1 million. The NYSGC does not break out handle by sport or divulge any specific wagering information about the game, but the Super Bowl handle may have been at least $200 million. That is a reasonable, conservative estimate, given Nevada set an all-time high with nearly $180 million wagered on the game and New Jersey went from $117.4 million in 2021 to $143.7 million this year despite all those Manhattanites no longer needing to cross the Hudson River to place legal bets.

Is the Super Bowl relevant for March Madness comparisons? Yes and no. One can view the NCAA Tournament as a singular event, but it also consists of 67 single-game events. A more like-for-like comparison could be the NCAA Tournament and the NFL playoffs, in which 13 games are played.

The NYSGC launched on the weekend of Week 18 of the NFL regular season, producing an initial handle report of $171.3 million that covered only those two days. The six wild card round games the next week contributed to handle skyrocketing to $431.8 million in the first full week of wagering. The four divisional round games sparked another bump to $572.6 million.  Notably, the Buffalo Bills played in both rounds.

Weekly handle ebbed the week of the two conference title games, falling to $449 million without the Bills, but that was still 28.3% higher than the recent low-end baseline of $350 million per week.

Assumptions of a similar percentage spike for March Madness could prove faulty for a few reasons, most notably advertising. The NFL has inherent advantages over the NCAA, with nearly all of its postseason games airing on network television. The league is also a marketing leviathan capable of making any superstar a national hero, recognized from the city where he plays to the casual fan hundreds of miles away who simply enjoys football.

This past NFL season, sportsbooks spent gobs of money to advertise their product, with the ability to promote themselves as “official league partners” or “approved sportsbook operators.” Of the eight mobile operators in New York, three (Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel) are official league partners and three others (BetMGM, PointsBet, and WynnBET) are approved sportsbook operators.

That advertising spend will not take place during the college basketball games broadcast on CBS and other stations. For starters, the NCAA does not have partnerships with gaming operators, and very few schools do.

cover image: credit Flickr/Steve Cheng, Bruin Report

Orlando Magic Fans Revel In Double Dose Of 360 Hoops At Home Game Against Chicago

In one of its most public in-person displays of its patented three-on-three version of basketball, 360 Hoops had the opportunity to experience the game before and during the team’s contest against Chicago on Sunday, January 23.

From 4-6 p.m., kids and adults at the 360 Hoops station at the Orlando Magic Fan Fest at Church Street directly outside of the Amway Center shot a few hoops and got a quick tutorial on the game, which features a patented circular court and three connected baskets and backboards attached to one pole. Then during halftime, players from Blessed Trinity and Team Dynasty took their best shot in drills and games on the Magic’s home floor, cheered on wildly by the nearly 19,000 fans in attendance.

“We are appreciative that the Orlando Magic believe enough in our unique take on the game of basketball to allow us this amazing opportunity to give fans a first-hand look at how we are changing the shape of the game,” said Archie McEachern, 360 Hoops CEO. “After getting a few reps on our three-basket set up pre-game, fans got the chance to see how our exciting game is played on a competitive level, and they responded!”

The 360 Hoops station featured coaches and other organization reps talking about the game and giving some quick instruction on its rules and how to best utilize the three goals.

360 Hoops, the brainchild of coach Shane Brey and fellow co-founder Anthony Gomez, is an exciting, inclusive addition to the shape of basketball at all levels, incorporating a three-on-three, three-basket game played on a circular court. Teams compete on the circular court, which features a proprietary single stanchion with three regulation baskets facing away in each direction. Players can score for their teams in any of the three baskets.

Data Driven Sports/ShotTracker to Provide Data and Advanced Analytics for Big 12 Basketball

Data Driven Sports (DDSports), the parent company of ShotTracker, today announced they have entered into an agreement with ESPN to provide data and analytics for Big 12 Conference basketball games. The multi-year deal gives ESPN the opportunity to integrate ShotTracker data throughout its linear and digital properties to drive fan engagement, enhanced storytelling and broadcast automation. The first stage of the collaboration kicked off last Saturday afternoon with advanced graphics integrated into ESPN’s broadcast of the Kansas vs. Texas Tech men’s basketball game on ESPN2. The video can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFpMRT5C2Jw

ShotTracker is entering its second year of partnership with the Big 12 Conference, which has integrated ShotTracker’s sensor-based technology in its arenas and practice facilities for the men’s and women’s programs, as well as into basketballs and player jerseys. The output of this integration is sub-second X-Y-Z player and ball location data and over 100 real-time stats, including advanced analytics such as lineup efficiency, ball movement stats and screen types with outcomes. ESPN will now have access to the same advanced stats that Big 12 coaching staff utilize on the bench via the ShotTracker team app to optimize their lineups and play calling.

“We are thrilled to be working closely with ESPN to drive what will be unprecedented innovation in sports,” said Davyeon Ross, ShotTracker Co-Founder and President. “Our autonomous, sub-second data has the potential to impact many areas of their business, including not only personalized fan engagement but also broadcast efficiencies and increased content output.”

As part of the new ESPN Edge Innovation Center, ShotTracker is working closely with ESPN to test various new enhancements across ESPN’s fan-facing platforms.

“We are excited to use ShotTracker technology as it provides sports fans with more in-depth stats and analysis for the sports they know and love,” said Kevin Lopes, Senior Director of Content Business Development & Innovation at ESPN.

Data Driven Sports/ShotTracker Announces Automated Content Products To Drive Engagement And Revenue

Data Driven Sports (DDSports), the parent company of ShotTracker,  today unveiled an exciting suite of new products to support digital publishers and broadcasters in engaging and monetizing college basketball fans this upcoming season. Leveraging the ShotTracker’s unique, real-time player and ball tracking data, combined with automated content and analytics platforms, DDSports now offers three innovative products designed to efficiently increase sponsorable content for its clients:

  • Automated Visualizations – customizable graphics with sponsor integrations designed for easy publishing to broadcast/OTT, digital, social and in-venue signage.
  • Insights Engine – AI-powered trends and streaks to drive game storylines and data-driven sales campaigns.
  • 3D Gamecast – animated ball and player graphics powered by real-time X-Y-Z location data, designed to allow out-of-market fans to watch their team live, and for all fans to relive exciting game moments. 

The three new products will be available for all men’s and women’s games across top NCAA Division 1 conferences where ShotTracker is installed, and will include unique, data-driven brand activation capabilities. “Our goal is to provide turnkey solutions to leading sports broadcasters and digital publishers to make the integration of ShotTracker data as streamlined and seamless as feasible,” said Davyeon Ross, DDSports/ShotTracker Co-Founder and President. “We commit to innovating and creating digital products that drive new revenue while also streamlining the content production process.”

Automated Visualizations

Leveraging the robust ShotTracker Data API, and through its partnership with IMPACT, a leading automated visualization platform, ShotTracker data will come to life in dynamic graphics designed for use across broadcast/OTT, digital, social and in-venue signage. Graphics that once took hours to produce will now be automatically generated. Broadcast customers will have access to a user portal that will allow for design, data points and sponsor customizations. Product benefits include more content, lower production costs and greater advertising revenue.

Insights Engine

Realizing the increasing need to grab fans’ attention and keep them engaged, ShotTracker has partnered with Inside Edge, a leader in sports analytics, to develop a cutting-edge platform to produce instant insights from ShotTracker’s robust data set. Broadcasters and digital publishers will now have real-time access to unique streaks and trends that once took hours to manually derive. This innovative platform will not only drive engaging storylines for announcers and writers, but will also support high-value sponsor activations.

3D Gamecast

Since many fans do not have access to live game broadcasts, and because game highlight rights are often complex and limited, ShotTracker has developed a real-time visual representation of every second of game action for all ShotTracker-enabled men’s and women’s games across top NCAA Division I conferences. Fans will have the option to watch an entire game or to select key game moments. With ShotTracker’s X-Y-Z data stream, game action comes to life in a more engaging visual representation than the traditional 2D products in the marketplace. Developers can use ShotTracker’s Gamecast SDK to customize design as well as advertiser integrations.

Gonzaga Selects Fast Rising Ready as Official Sports Drink

Ready® Nutrition (@ready_nutrition), one of the fastest growing sports nutrition companies in North America, with NBA Finals Champion and MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and three-time NFL Defensive MVP Aaron Donald as co-owners, today announced that Gonzaga University selected the brand as the Official Sports Drink of Bulldog Athletics.

Ready® Sport Drink will be the exclusive isotonic sports drinks for fueling and replenishing Gonzaga student-athletes with its scientific, all-natural formulation featuring three dominant electrolytes, energy from superfruits, and B-Vitamins for complete hydration.   

“We’re looking forward to this partnership with Ready® ” Incoming Gonzaga Director of Athletics Chris Standiford said. “It’s vital that we provide our student-athletes with the best sports nutrition options, and we know that Ready® will be the best choice for Gonzaga.”

Gonzaga is a member of the West Coast Conference, one of 8 conferences that have selected Ready® as their Official Sports Drink.  The Bulldogs’ national profile is highlighted by the success of its men’s and women’s basketball programs. The women have been crowned WCC champions and qualified for the NCAA Tournament in eight of the last 12 years.  The men’s program, under future Hall of Fame Coach Mark Few, has become a traditional national power.  The team has qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 10 years, making numerous Sweet 16 and Elite 8 appearances and playing for the National Championship in 2021.

“We’re always looking to provide our guys with the best in everything,” said Coach Few.  “We used Ready® during the tournament last year and our players loved it. It was an easy decision for us to name Ready® our Official Sports Drink.”

In addition to its sports drink, Ready® will also make available it’s full portfolio of performance products including its popular protein water, protein bars and functional snacks.  

“We’re excited to welcome Gonzaga into the Ready® family and thrilled that another elite program and coach has selected our sports drink for their student athletes”, said Ready® Founder and CEO Pat Cavanaugh, himself a former student-athlete and University of Pittsburgh basketball team captain.  “Coach Few’s program has such a high standard of excellence and I know he wants the very best for his players and all Gonzaga student-athletes.  We’re committed to helping them reach their team and individual goals with our science-based performance products.”

360 Hoops Names Longtime Nike Executive Archie McEachern As CEO

360 Hoops has announced the appointment of Archie McEachern as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. McEachern brings more than 25 years of experience in merchandising, product creation and sales on a national and global level at Nike, Inc. to the position. He joined 360 Hoops in January in an advisory capacity and officially became CEO on April 1.

McEachern most recently served as Vice President, Greater China Category Merchandising at Nike in Shanghai for the past two years after a three-year stint as Vice President, North American Marketplace Merchandising from 2015-2018. He served in a variety of other leadership roles at the Beaverton, Ore., based apparel and footwear company since arriving there in 1992.

In his newly created role at 360 Hoops, producer of the patented three-basket hoops that are revolutionizing basketball at all levels, McEachern will play an important role in areas such as product development, marketplace strategy and brand positioning.

“I have been intrigued by the 360 Hoops concept and couldn’t be more pleased to be asked to lead this team that is changing the way youths and adults experience basketball,” said McEachern, a graduate of Ithaca (N.Y.) College and two-time basketball team captain there. “The game of basketball continues to evolve and I am confident that there is a clear space for innovation like the 360 Hoops products. I’m excited to help introduce the 360 Hoops vision to new opportunities and markets.”

“Archie McEachern’s extensive experience in the sport and with the prestige of having served important roles at the global leader in Nike make him a great fit for leading us to the next stage,” said 360 Hoops co-founder Shane Brey. “We have an exciting slate of upcoming initiatives and his unique background will help us maximize those and create additional opportunities as we continue our rapid growth and help bring this amazing form of basketball to more organizations and ultimately more players across the globe.”

McEachern’s other relevant experience at Nike includes terms as Vice President, Japan Merchandising and Global Category Footwear Leader Nike Basketball, amongst others. He has also served as a board member and consultant at David Nurse, Inc., in Los Angeles and consultant for DG Sport in Los Angeles and Tokyo.
360 Hoops, the brainchild of Brey and fellow co-founder Anthony Gomez, is an exciting, inclusive addition to the shape of basketball at all levels, incorporating a three-on-three, three-basket game played on a circular court. Teams compete on the 30-foot diameter court, which features a proprietary single stanchion with three regulation baskets facing away in each direction. Players can score for their teams in any of the three baskets.

ShotTracker Secures An Additional $2m Financing From Hearst Ventures

DDSports Inc. (ShotTracker), a revolutionary sports technology that captures rich performance data via sensors and provides statistics and analytics with sub-second latency, today announced a new round of financing by Hearst Ventures, the venture capital unit of Hearst. The $2 million USD investment by Hearst Ventures is in addition to an $11 million USD investment led by Evertz Technologies Limited (Evertz) and Verizon Ventures, which was announced earlier this year and completes the current funding round for the company.

“We are proud to have brought on Hearst Ventures as our latest investment partner,” said ShotTracker Chief Executive Officer Bill Moses. “Their expertise and knowledge of the media partnerships space will be pivotal as we refine and grow not just our offering to NCAA men’s and women’s basketball programs, but to broadcast partners as well. That broadcast integration has been the most requested element for our technology and we feel will be a key for our growth in the coming years.”

“Our goal with ShotTracker from day one is to go beyond the work we do with our partner schools,” said ShotTracker Co-Founder and President Davyeon Ross. “This investment, on top of our work with Evertz and Verizon Ventures, gives us a much wider runway and a greater opportunity for scaling success of our business going forward. We will continue to focus on our platform for NCAA men’s and women’s basketball, but additional opportunities are now coming into focus that will make this partnership very important for us.”

“ShotTracker’s autonomous, low-latency data collection is giving broadcasters, fans and other sports data consumers unprecedented insights in real time,” said Hearst Ventures Managing Director David Famolari, who will also be joining ShotTracker’s board of directors. “We see this as key to innovating the viewing experience and delivering data-driven storylines and visualizations that bring fans into the action in new and compelling ways. Bill, Davyeon and the ShotTracker team are leading the industry in developing technology to make unique sports data immediately actionable across a range of use cases.”

ShotTracker currently brings elite-level, real-time analytics to the court. The company’s patented technology tracks data in three parts: a ShotTracker-enabled ball, sensors on players’ jerseys and court sensors that map the court in 3D. Data is processed through the company’s proprietary algorithm displayed on the ShotTracker app and dashboard and is also integrated with Evertz’s cloud-based live production solutions. The real-time data can be used to automate camera productions from remote locations and can be licensed by media and sports data companies and will be enhanced by all the innovation Verizon is bringing through their cutting-edge work in 5G.

NBRPA, Swoopes And Flexion Therapeutics Announce Partnership To Raise Awareness Of Zilretta

Unsplash/Marcus Spiske

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) and Flexion Therapeutics Inc. today announced a new partnership to raise awareness of osteoarthritis-related knee pain and present ZILRETTA (triamcinolone acetonide extended-release injectable suspension) as an effective treatment option. The educational program tipped off with a virtual event featuring Sheryl Swoopes, basketball Hall of Famer and ZILRETTA patient, discussing how osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee has impacted her life and how ZILRETTA has helped with pain management. Swoopes is the first athlete from the WNBA to participate in the awareness program. The partnership with Swoopes complements Flexion’s relationship with ZILRETTA Athlete Ambassadors, NFL Hall of Famer Rod Woodson and 1980 USA hockey team captain and gold medal winner Mike Eruzione.

“We are excited to partner with the NBRPA to raise awareness of knee OA and ZILRETTA, and we are truly honored to be working with Sheryl, a world-class athlete who continues to exemplify greatness well after the height of her career,” said Michael Clayman, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Flexion. “As one of the most exceptional women athletes of all time, a hall of famer, and three-time Olympic gold medalist, Sheryl knows about pushing the limits physically, and we are very pleased that she has finally found the much-needed relief from her OA knee pain with ZILRETTA.”

Swoopes, the first player to be signed in the WNBA, is a three-time WNBA MVP and was named one of the league’s Top 15 Players of All Time at the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game. She won three Olympic gold medals and is one of 10 women’s basketball players to have won an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA Championship and a WNBA title. She was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016 and is an active leader in the NBRPA.

“The best partnerships are all about authenticity, and we found out through a survey of our membership that knee pain ranked among retired players’ top ailments following their careers,” said Scott Rochelle, NBRPA’s Executive Director. “There is no better, more engaged advocate for those suffering OA knee pain and no stronger advocate to speak to the benefits of ZILRETTA than Sheryl. We look forward to growing this relationship in the coming months to be one of our most inclusive and informative to date.”

Swoopes added, “I fully understand the way OA knee pain can impact your life in every aspect, not just physically but mentally. To be able to tell my story and share the results of what can be done with treatment with my colleagues, friends, former players and family is very important. This partnership will not only help many of the athletes who have played in the NBA and WNBA, but it will serve to raise awareness for thousands who may be suffering in silence.”

Swoopes was treated by Rabah Qadir, M.D., a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon at the Woodlands Sports Medicine Center and Chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at Memorial Hermann Woodlands Medical Center in the Houston area. Dr. Qadir said, “While Sheryl has enjoyed the career of an elite athlete, unfortunately, her experience with OA knee pain is far from unique. Knee injuries, especially cartilage and meniscus injuries, are common for basketball players and can lead to OA over time. After evaluating Sheryl and understanding her desire to stay active with a non-surgical treatment plan, ZILRETTA was an obvious choice to offer Sheryl the extended pain relief she needed.”

More information on how to find a treating physician can be found at https://www.getthez.com or by calling 888-600-GETZ (4389).

The NBRPA represents over 1,000 former NBA and WNBA players, making it the largest agency of its kind in basketball. This has allowed for direct access to players for opportunities to educate other members and their treating physicians.

ShotTracker Secures $11M Financing Led By Evertz Technologies And Verizon Ventures

Pexels-Markus Spiske

DDSports Inc. (ShotTracker), a revolutionary sports technology that captures rich performance data via sensors and provides statistics and analytics with sub-second latency, today announced an $11M USD funding round led by Evertz Technologies Limited (“Evertz”) and Verizon Ventures. ShotTracker will use the funds to accelerate its deployment across NCAA Division I Power 6 Basketball Conferences, expand hiring, further key partnerships and enhance sensor capabilities and data capture for players, coaches, fans and broadcasters.

ShotTracker brings elite-level real time analytics to the court. The company’s patented technology tracks data in three parts: a ShotTracker-enabled ball, sensors on players’ jerseys, and court sensors that map the court in 3D. Data is processed through the company’s proprietary algorithm displayed on the ShotTracker app and dashboard and will also be integrated with Evertz cloud based live production solutions. The real time data can be used to automate camera productions from remote locations and can be licensed by media and sports data companies.

With more than 63 Division I men’s and women’s basketball programs and a growing relationship with Learfield IMG College and their partner schools, ShotTracker’s cutting-edge technology is well-positioned to deliver deep data and analytics as well as video, scoreboard and broadcast integration. For its media company and broadcast customers, it currently delivers experiential activations and crossover content opportunities distributed via digital and social platforms.

The Evertz partnership brings to ShotTracker a global leader in providing professional video/audio infrastructure and cloud-based solutions to content creators. The partnership with ShotTracker’s advanced real time analytics, will enable content owners to create tailored content for their audience across multiple platforms. With automated camera operations, advanced statistics, and cloud services, producers can augment live production by telling unique stories that enhance the audience’s experience (in-venue and/or the broadcast) while realizing additional revenue opportunities.

“Combining ShotTracker sensor data and our DreamCatcherTM suite of products will enrich live productions — on-premise and cloud-based — for broadcasters, leagues, teams, and fans.” said Vince Silvestri, Evertz VP of Software Systems. “We are excited to be working with the ShotTracker team to bring enhanced and personalized game experiences to fans everywhere.”

“As real-time data tracking and analytics become critical components for coaches and players, instantaneous and interactive delivery powered by 5G is critical,” said Michelle McCarthy, Verizon Ventures Managing Director. “ShotTracker’s real-time sports data will transform fan experiences, athletic performance, sports broadcast and more. We’re proud to invest in a team of industry veterans as they pave the way for data capture in game play to improve all areas of the sport.”

“The entire ShotTracker team is excited to have the opportunity of working with two such farsighted technology leaders as Evertz and Verizon Ventures, each of whom brings special capabilities to enable us to fulfill our vision of what truly real time statistics and analytics can mean,” said Bill Moses, ShotTracker CEO. ShotTracker Founder and COO, Davyeon Ross, added: “The impact of tying the cameras to the ShotTracker sensors, in cost savings and in the quality of unique content which then can be delivered, will be dramatic and literally game changing for the sports world.”

Pair Of 1980’s ‘Mike’ Trading Cards Set Records In Goldin Auctions

Goldin Auctions

In a year when trading cards became considered an asset class, two particular sports legends name Mike who started their careers in the 1980’s – Michael Jordan and “Iron” Mike Tyson – had their rookie trading cards set new records this past weekend in Goldin Auctions End of Year Auction.

The first of the two records was set by Heavyweight boxing Champion Mike Tyson’s rookie card, a 1986 Panini Supersport #153 sold for $47,970, shattering the previous high sale of $6,999 for a 683% yield.

The same year of the Tyson rookie card, Michael Jordan’s popular 1986 Fleer rookie card also kept climbing as Goldin Auctions has set the record high sale for this card four times in the past 6 months, setting a new mark of $222,630, besting the $211,560 record set less than 30 days in December.

“Here we go again” said Ken Goldin, Founder of Goldin Auctions in reaction to the new records, “We have begun a new way of doing business here at Goldin Auctions without sellers and buyers having to wait months in between auctions and the supply is being met by the demand.”

Goldin auctions is actively accepting consignments for its upcoming Winter Auction which we anticipate taking place in early February. To get into the next auction you can consign by emailing an image and description of your items to info@goldinauctions.com.

Legends Media & Entertainment Adds Peter Vecsey And Hoop Du Jour To Its Content Offering

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) announced today that veteran NBA columnist and renowned basketball insider Peter Vecsey (pvecsey@legendsofbasketball.com) has joined its content team, sharing his thoughts via his popular Hoop du Jour platform each week. Hoop du Jour will be featured content for Legends Media & Entertainment (LME), the multifaceted story-telling platform producing, distributing and quantifying the wide-reaching stories of many of the NBA and WNBA’s biggest stars that was launched in September and has seen record growth since launch. Athletes First Partners represents the NBRPA in its marketing endeavors and is working on engaging with brands on the platform as well.

Vecsey, the long-time columnist for the New York Post and analyst for TNT/TBS, NBC and NBATV, is one of the most connected and engaged media members in the sport. His opinions, insights and quips about the game–both past and present–have long been required reading for anyone involved or interested in basketball.

The native New Yorker has been enshrined in four Halls of Fame, including Naismith Basketball (Class of 2009), NYC Basketball, Rucker League and Archbishop Molloy.

“If there is any media member who knows our players and our audience, it is Peter Vecsey,” NBRPA President and CEO Scott Rochelle said. “Hoop du Jour was a business and lockerroom must read for decades. Peter’s ability to tell stories in his own style will certainly resonate not just with our current audience, but with a growing number of new fans who love basketball and its personalities. We are confident it’s going to be a must-read and must-follow as our other content has become this fall.”

“The men and women who make up the NBRPA were, and are, the most engaging and interesting athletes anywhere,” Vecsey said.  “I’m looking forward to having some fun with them, telling and retelling their stories, and showing a new (and not-so-new) audience just how much noise we can make in this space.”

The first Hoop du Jour can be seen here: https://www.legendsofbasketball.com/hoop-du-jour-2-0/

The NBRPA represents over 1,000 former NBA and WNBA players, making it the largest agency of its kind in basketball. In three months LME in both audio and video has drawn almost 600,000 views and listens, more than three times the combined numbers of audio and video around the players in the previous nine months. Viewers and listeners have come from over 20 countries, and have enjoyed content from some of the most unique storytellers in the history of professional basketball. The key unified elements of LME include: Legends Magazine, Legends Studiosthe All-Access Legends Podcast and the NBRPA’s social media strategy and content.

ShotTracker Names Bill Moses Chief Executive Officer As Part Of Company Executive Restructuring

DDSports Inc. (ShotTracker), a revolutionary basketball technology that captures via sensors stats and analytics with sub-second latency  and the leading tracking platform among NCAA schools, announced company executive restructuring in advance of a host of upcoming strategic business partnership announcements.

The Board of Directors has brought on veteran sports data industry leader Bill Moses as Chief Executive Officer, while company founder Davyeon Ross will continue with the company as the COO and President. The company’s co-founder, Bruce Ianni, has chosen to depart to pursue other opportunities.  In addition, two other sports business and tech veterans, Tom Masterman and Jason Tilton, have joined the company as VP of Sales and VP of Corporate Development, respectively

“It is a pleasure to join the ShotTracker team to help advance the commercial business opportunities of one of the most innovative and transformative companies in the data and technology side at the NCAA level,” Moses said. “The foundation partnerships with some of the most elite colleges and universities have been built, and we are now ready to push forward with growing that base and expanding the commercial and tactical opportunities in basketball and in other sports with a host of new partners coming on line in the months ahead.”

“Our technology continues to be some of the most widely embraced and supported by college programs across the nation for both men’s and women’s basketball,” Ross said. “Having Bill’s wealth of experience in monetizing and expanding data content, as well as his deep and well respected relationships in media, marketing and technology will be invaluable as we advance and continue to disrupt the marketplace in 2021 and beyond.”

A New Jersey native and University of Virginia graduate, Moses brings with him to ShotTracker his vast experience in working at the nexus of technology and media, entertainment and sports. After serving at the NFL as the Senior VP of International and New Media, Bill joined IBM as the Vice President of Broadband Distribution where he co-authored the IBM digital media strategy and was responsible for developing and executing the company’s corporate strategy in broadband industries.

While at IBM, Moses also held the position of Vice President of Broadcast, Cable and Sports for the company’s Global Telecommunications and Media Division. In that role, he created and launched ventures that resulted in the PGA.com and NHL.com internet sites, ushering the sports business and leagues into the new media age during the 1990’s. He was one of the first to deploy computer-based scoring systems across many of the leagues and helped launch the age of data analytics.

Masterman has spent two decades in sports technology and digital media, with a focus on enterprise sales and partnerships. Prior to ShotTracker, he was Global Head of Publisher Sales at Genius Sports Group, driving data integrations with clients including NBC Sports and USA Today. Tom was also the founding sales and marketing executive for SportsData, which sold to global leader Sportradar. As Chief Revenue Officer, he led the acquisition of enterprise clients including Google, Twitter and Turner Sports. Tom began his career as an Emmy-nominated TV producer and has had several management roles in digital media.

Tilton joins ShotTracker from Genius Sports Group as well, where he was Commercial Partnerships Manager. Prior to working with Genius on their North American business, he was Video Coordinator with the Phoenix Suns and has spent time on the basketball administration side at Long Beach State University and St. John’s University.

ShotTracker currently has relationships with more than 63 Division I men’s and women’s basketball programs and has a growing relationship with Learfield IMG College and their partner schools. The Learfield IMG College sponsorship teams can provide local, regional and national brands visibility associated with ShotTracker’s cutting-edge technology via scoreboard integration, digital/social platforms and experiential activations. Additionally, a growing number of schools with official athletic websites and mobile apps powered by SIDEARM Sports are adding ShotTracker technology integrated into the website and app. The crossover content provides another opportunity for brand visibility and bolsters the second-screen experience for fans.  Broadcasters are also now increasing the use of the depth and breadth of ShotTracker real time data to enhance their broadcasts.

Detroit Pistons Enter Multi-Year Sports Betting Partnerships With FanDuel Group And DraftKings

Pistons/Facebook

The Detroit Pistons today announced multi-year partnerships with premier sports gaming companies FanDuel Group and DraftKings, Inc., making FanDuel and DraftKings official sports betting partners of the Pistons.

In addition to the use of official Pistons marks and logos, each partnership will include a mix of robust marketing assets, including in-arena signage and activations, television and digital advertising, and TV and radio presence to drive passionate Pistons enthusiasts to each entity’s sports betting offerings.

Detroit Pistons Chief Business Officer Mike Zavodsky praised the agreement with both companies and noted the commitment to building asset packages that provide engagement strategies unique to each business.

“We appreciate the partnership-minded and collaborative approach that both FanDuel and DraftKings brought to the table,” said Zavodsky. “We look forward to utilizing our platform to help each grow their presence within and connectivity to the Pistons and greater Detroit Metro communities.”

In addition to its partnership with FanDuel, the Pistons will also partner with MotorCity Casino Hotel. FanDuel and MotorCity Casino Hotel will offer exciting game day experiences at the newly designed FanDuel Sportsbook at MotorCity Casino in downtown Detroit. On game days, MotorCity Casino will provide fans with giveaways, exclusive viewing parties and other innovative experiences to enhance sports betting experience before, during and after the games.

“The Pistons are a progressive and forward-thinking franchise committed to its fans, and we see an incredibly valuable partnership opportunity as we connect our retail Sportsbook experience with Pistons game action in the arena,” said Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel. “This new relationship will create unique approaches for us to reach Pistons fans. With the FanDuel Sportsbook at MotorCity Casino and mobile gaming offerings on the FanDuel Sportsbook app, we will together offer engaging experiences both inside and outside the arena while giving fans access to unique betting promotions and content.”

An exciting element of the DraftKings partnership includes a “Piston For A Day” VIP fan experience giving users the opportunity to enter a contest where winners receive exclusive access to the team. Winners will sign a “Pistons Contract” for a day, pose for a photo with a member of the front office staff, receive a personalized Pistons jersey and warm-up clothing to wear to a Pistons game, receive a locker room tour and postgame shot on the Little Caesars Arena floor and private access for a one-hour shootaround on the Pistons Practice Court at the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center.

“As our first professional team activation in the state of Michigan, we are thrilled to join forces with the Detroit Pistons ahead of our pending market introduction,” said Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer, DraftKings. “This deal deepens our relationship with a prominent local team to facilitate more immersive fan experiences, both for Michiganders familiar with regulated gaming products as well as newcomers to the space.”

NBA Alumni Launch Legends Media & Entertainment To Unify Storytelling Efforts

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) today announced the expansion and launch of Legends Media & Entertainment (LME), a multifaceted storytelling platform that will produce, distribute and quantify the wide reaching stories of many of the NBA and WNBA’s biggest stars. The content will span the history of both leagues and feature more recent alums of the game ranging from Sheryl Swoopes and Grant Hill to the sport’s greatest legends and business successes on and off the court, delivered through all forms of media, from print and spoken word to long and short form video.

The NBRPA represents over 1,000 former NBA and WNBA players, making it the largest agency of its kind in basketball. This has allowed for direct access to players for opportunities domestically and internationally.

“With the creation of LME, we are building a multimedia platform for some of the most compelling men and women connected to basketball’s history and culture under one umbrella, something which has been asked for, and needed for some time,” said NBRPA President and CEO Scott Rochelle. “LME will be a vibrant stop for fans, businesses and others who want to enjoy, learn and explore the amazing stories of our Legends both on and off the court. These stories are some of the best in the global business of sport, and now we can house them under one impactful roof.”

NBA Champion and NBRPA Director Caron Butler adds, “Every NBA and WNBA player has a story to tell and Legends Media & Entertainment offers ALL Legends a platform to tell their stories and let their voices be heard,” NBA Champion and NBRPA Director Caron Butler added.

Some of the key unified elements of LME will include:

Legends Magazinewhich debuted in 2018 and is the official publication for NBA and WNBA Legends. Produced quarterly, Legends Magazine has featured cover stories about NBRPA Director Caron Butler, Jerry Stackhouse, Elton Brand, Jamal Mashburn and “The Knuckleheads” – Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles. Each issue is delivered to all former players, active players, coaches, stakeholders, influencers and league officials worldwide.

Legends Studios also debuted in 2018 with the launch of original live-action and animated short videos and two podcasts, the All-Access Legends Podcast and On Deck with Scott Rochelle. In April 2020, Legends Live, a weekly web series broadcasted to multiple social media platforms featuring live conversations with NBA and WNBA Legends, was added to the Legends Studios portfolio. In addition to 32 standard episodes, Legends Live also covered the 2020 WNBA Draft and ESPN’s The Last Dance with live commentary from Legends. Last week, media personality Tyler Johnson, aka Trill Withers joined the LME team as host of Legends Live, where he will spend time with many of the game’s most successful and dynamic personalities and business people. Johnson will also be a key contributor to Legends Magazine, the All-Access Legends Podcast and the NBRPA’s social media strategy and content.

To follow along with LME content from the NBRPA, find them on social media at @NBAalumni on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch or on Facebook at NBA Alumni.

Georgia Soul, Crosstown Win Women’s, Men’s Elite Brackets At Inaugural 360 Hoops Invitational

Crosstown

Alexis Prince, Khadijiah Cave, Martell Buie and Demario Fountain were among the standouts as Georgia Soul (women’s) and Crosstown (men’s) claimed the Elite Bracket championships at the inaugural 360 Hoops Invitational this past week at DME Sports Academy. Competitors from across all age groups from elementary school up to top collegiate and professional standouts vied for the titles in various brackets in the unique 360 Hoops format, three-on-three play on a three-basket, three-team circular court.

In the women’s final, Prince scored a game-high 19 points, grabbed five rebounds and handed out six assists, and Cave pitched in 16 points and a game-best 10 boards as Georgia Soul defeated DMT, 54-25. The men’s final featured a strong comeback by Crosstown, which topped Top Shottas, 15-12, behind five points (one point per basket) from Blue and Fountain. Liam Davis had 10 of the squad’s 12 points and a game-high four rebounds in a losing effort for Top Shottas.

The fast-paced format meant non-stop action: the women’s contest saw 51 possessions in two 10-minute halves, and the men’s had 58 trips in 10:00.

The Women’s and Men’s Elite Bracket title games will be featured on a tape-delayed national TV broadcast with Emmy-Award winning producer Harry Cicma. Innovative camera angles and technology, including 360 VR, will be incorporated. Fans can view replays of games from the lower brackets at the 360 Hoops YouTube channel.

The format, in which three teams compete at a time on the 30-foot diameter circular court, featuring a single stanchion with three regulation baskets facing away in each direction and where players can score for their teams in any of the three baskets, produced some highlights not possible in standard basketball. Athleticism, moving without the ball and team play are paramount, readily apparent in this showcase for the nascent sport.

“We weren’t sure what to expect in our first tournament, but it exceeded everything we could have hoped for,” said Shane Brey, Co-Founder, 360 Hoops. “All of the elements of the game were on display, and we will look back at the tapes, learn which things worked well and which we can tweak to be even better. 

Georgia Soul

“We are thankful to these tremendous athletes, from the youngest kids right up to the Elite men and women for their efforts all week,” he added. “Georgia Soul and Crosstown will forever be the FIRST 360 Hoops champions, and we can’t be prouder to award them the titles, along with the other bracket winners.”

Winners of the inaugural 360 Hoops Invitational in each bracket include:

  • Elite Women’s – Georgia Soul (Alexis Prince, Aliyah Collier, Dominique Wilson, Khadijiah Cave) d. DMT (Destiny Campbell, Micah Garvin, Tiffany Hodge, Ionna McKenzie), 54-25. Third place: TC Hoopers (Brandy Montgomery, Dyane Pierre, Nene Johnson, Stephanie Ball)
  • Elite Men’s – Crosstown (Jon Thompson, Martell Buie, Demario Fountain, Eric Macintosh) d. Top Shottas (Romelo Bates, Dimitri Thompson, Liam Davis, Wilfredo Rodriguez), 15-12. Third place: Dunk Session (Raheem Watts, Dangelo Lee, Chris Watson)
  • High School Girls – National Basketball Academy/DME (Coach Jack Lutzeier, players Mariela Hooper, Isys Grady, Jhaid Westbrook) d. TNBA
  • High School Boys – Orlando Mets (Coach Edgar Santana, players Cris Santiago, Malik Moye, Dayron Horn, Waiter Ross) d. Go Riot

The event was followed by a lively and informative roundtable discussion with high-level basketball minds including Division I coaches, highlights of which will also air during the television broadcast. Featured panelists included Howard head coach Kenny Blakeney; Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey; Stetson assistant Brendan Ahearn Suhr; DME Sports Academy co-founder and owner Dan Panaggio; U.S. Army captain and former Augusta State Univ. star Ernesia Wright; Orlando Boom director of player development Mercedes Sirmons; and former Daytona State College and University of Central Florida standout Andrea Ayala. 

360 Hoops Invitational event partners include Dynasty Hoops, DME Sports Academy, Orlando Boom, and Ace League.