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Volume 26 No. 227
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NBA Taking Minority Stake In HomeCourt App Parent Company

The NBA is taking a minority stake in NEX Team Inc., developers of the HomeCourt app that uses AI for basketball training. Financial specifics of the NBA’s investment in and partnership with NEX Team were not disclosed, but the league’s stake is part of the company’s round of $8.5M in financing. Other investors include Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban, Nets co-Owner Joe Tsai and a group of athlete investors including former NBAer Steve Nash, Pelicans G JJ Redick and WNBA Seattle Storm G Sue Bird. The NBA is also partnering with the company to leverage HomeCourt’s technology to help develop and train players at all skill levels through the app. Launched last July, HomeCourt combines training concepts with AI to provide real-time analytics for players. The app allows for shot tracking and other metrics such as shot release time and ball handling while also recording player workouts. The app will also have NBA-sponsored content and contests. The NBA is banking on its investment in the HomeCourt app to help increase youth player development and boost fan engagement. “When you come across a company with a truly unique technology that is focused on growing the sport, it aligns perfectly with our objectives,” said NBA President of Team Marketing & Business Operations and Chief Innovation Officer Amy Brooks. “We are able to immediately reach our fans in a way we weren’t able to before.” The subscription service app has various tiers ranging from a free tier that tracks 1,000 shots a month to a $4.99 tier for 3,000 shots per month to $7.99 per month for unlimited tracking and access to various drills. The NBA content will be on all tiers. “It is not just make-or-miss, but getting feedback and video review,” NEX Team co-Founder Alex Wu said of the app’s shot tracking technology. Wu: "Combining it with the NBA’s point of view, they can provide a lot of expertise and identify what are the key things kids can learn.”