We (Mike & Christy) have a combined experience of 42 years of teaching and well over 50 seasons of coaching various sports. How did we end up here, running a very successful 3 on 3 basketball business and embarking on a mission to grow the 3 on 3 game nationally and globally? The funny thing is, we didn’t start out with this goal in mind. Here’s what happened…
AN IDEA WAS BORN
What would eventually become our livelihood, Midwest 3 on 3, began in 1997, but not with the intent of becoming a company. Rather, Mike was a high school basketball coach and wanted to get kids in the gym in the off-season to play basketball in a competitive, yet fun and non-coached setting. We talked often about how when we were kids, we would head to the park with friends and play pick-up basketball until dark because it was fun. We realized that this was no longer common – kids were being streamlined into very controlled basketball environments with year-round coaching, multiple practices a week with significant time commitments and expectations. Understandably, going out and playing more basketball “just for fun” wasn’t happening.
LASER LIKE FOCUS
As teachers and coaches, neither of us had any type of business background in college. We weren’t attempting to create a business - all we cared about was creating an environment where kids loved playing basketball. An environment where when we asked them how it went we would hear, “It was FUN!” We didn’t care about making money and we didn’t care how hard we had to work. If we could create this, Mike knew his high school program would benefit by improved players and more kids sticking with basketball.
So, we focused on FUN. That meant kids playing with friends, listening to music, no coaches controlling how they played or yelling at them, increased opportunities with the ball, and the list goes on.
We learned a lot, kept improving our model and after a few years we were being asked to run leagues in other communities. Without ever intending it, we had started a business and our services were in high demand - very high demand.
HOW DO WE SCALE THIS THING?
It became decision making time. We either needed to start saying “No” to the requests to run more leagues or take a big leap of faith. Leap of faith it was - Mike quit teaching and now our ‘passion’ had to become a money-making business. We learned how to automate and streamline processes. We continued to add leagues and see an increase in participation. We found ourselves needing to hire our first full-time employee, Pat Freeman, who had been working part-time with us for years. Pat left his full-time job with the MN Timberwolves because he believed in our product and knew he could make it even better!
THE ULTIMATE VALIDATION
Our own three children, Alex, Sydney and Sami, were proof to us that we were really providing kids with something they wanted, something that was missing in their sports experiences. All three were high-level athletes in multiple sports. And each one of them would still tell you to this day that some of their favorite sports moments were playing in our 3 on 3 leagues.
LOOK WHAT WE’VE DONE!
Midwest 3 on 3 - Growth
NOT GOOD ENOUGH, HOW DO WE SCALE THIS THING, AGAIN?
NEW MISSION: GROW THE GAME OF 3 ON 3
With Pat on board full time, it has allowed us to do some substantial software building. We’ve spent the past two years getting 3 on 3 Hoops Hub ready to assist others to do what we have done with 3 on 3 basketball. Whether you want to run one league or build a massive business like we have, we’re excited to be the short cut to get you there. We are fired up to bring more 3 on 3 opportunities to young players all across the country and beyond!
SO, WHY AREN’T OTHER PEOPLE DOING THIS?
There’s no doubt, 3 on 3 basketball options are on the rise. It seems exceptionally rare, however, for someone to run multiple 3 on 3 leagues. If I had to guess the reason, I’d say it is because they realize they have a lot to learn and it is a lot of work. What I want to help you with is minimizing the hours of work you need to put into a league. The teacher in me wants to speed up your learning curve and teach you everything we have learned by running hundreds of leagues over the past 20+ years.
WHAT 3 ON 3 HOOPS HUB CAN DO FOR YOU:
Help you find a league to play in
Help you run a 3 on 3 league without starting from the beginning – run your first league like you’ve run hundreds of them
No one else out there has the experience running 3 on 3 leagues that we do. No one else can support you at the personal level that we can so you can run a profitable & successful 3 on 3 league in your community.
If you’d like to chat with me (Christy) some more about 3 on 3, let’s set it up!
Mike and Christy have 3 grown children and live in Brooklyn Park, MN. Christy continues to teach middle school part-time as well as work for 3 on 3 Hoops Hub while Mike works full-time on 3 on 3 Hoops Hub & Midwest 3 on 3.