Babson Alumni Startup: Who’s Hoopin?
How do you find a good local pickup game without driving around aimlessly? Let Dara Behjat ‘15 and Adrian Masone ’12 provide the assist.
Who’s Hoopin? is a network designed to take the guesswork out of finding good pickup basketball. Created by hoopers, for hoopers, Who’s Hoopin? is the first basketball app providing real time information to help you find your game.
Forming a Team
On a summer day in 2012, Adrian and his brother Ian drove around looking to play a pickup game. They found ten players scattered around three different courts and realized if these players had a way to connect with one another, they could all be playing full court instead of waiting for more people to show up. That’s the day Who’s Hoopin? was born.
Dara experienced similar frustrations, showing up to empty courts with his friends and wasting time and energy looking for good games. When he enrolled in Professor Angelo Santinelli’s Entrepreneurship and Opportunity course, he had the opportunity to thoroughly explore a business idea, and teamed up with some classmates to design a pickup sports app called Get Active.
Kwaku Abankroh ‘14, a mutual friend from Babson, was helping Adrian with Who’s Hoopin? when he learned about Dara’s project and connected the two. Dara and Adrian were both members of Babson Dance Ensemble (BDE) and Origins of Necessary Equality (ONE), and had even played pickup together – but when the two discovered they were trying to solve the same problem, they decided to join forces.
Playing to Win
“We’ve got this dream of an online network of hoopers connected by their love for good, competitive ball. No more showing up to empty courts. We want hoopers to spend less time looking for a game and more time playing,” said Adrian Masone and Dara Behjat.
“There are millions of recreational basketball players in the world, but they lack a centralized platform to communicate and connect with each other. We want Who’s Hoopin? to become the ultimate tool for finding pickup ball. We’re working to incorporate game scheduling and player ratings to make it even easier for users to find nearby games that fit their different skill levels. In addition, we want to reward hoopers that use the app by providing discounts on things like food, drinks, shoes, gear, and day passes at gyms for when outdoor ball isn’t an option.”
Babson – the Sixth Man
The pair adds, “Babson taught us to view problems as opportunities. The education and practice we received has helped us to simultaneously solve problems and grow our business, while teaching us to think outside the box, explore partnerships, and intimately understand our users.”
If you could be an NBA player for a day – who would it be and why?
“I would be Paul Pierce. He is my all-time favorite player, but he also did a lot for the Boston community,” said Dara Behjat. “He does a lot of work with kids, helping them to get off the streets and onto courts in safe environments. I believe we can do the same with Who’s Hoopin? by encouraging kids to utilize the app and find good pickup in the area – a safe and fun alternative to other after-school activities.”
A Message to All Hoopers
“From time to time, a passionate hooper will reach out to us because he believes in our mission. It’s always the highlight of my day and reminds me why we set off on this adventure in the first place.
I’m doing this for the hooper who just moved to a new state and has no idea where to ball. I’m doing this for the hooper who has to wait three games before it’s his turn to play. I’m doing this for the varsity athlete who wants to get better in the off-season and struggles to find competitive runs. I’m doing this for them, because at some point or another, I have been that hooper.
I love basketball and it has done so much for my personal development. It’s taught me discipline, how to be a part of a team, and the value of hard work. As a part-time basketball coach, I see the positive effects sports can have on young kids, and seeing the joy it brings them reminds me that basketball was a game long before it was a business.”
– Adrian Masone ‘12