90 on the Clock with ShotTracker
By John McGrath, KCPT, and Bobby Burch, Startland News
From propelling the game’s emergence in the early 1900s to honing hall of fame players like Wilt Chamberlin at the University of Kansas, the Sunflower State is rich in basketball history.
So it makes sense that a Kansas company, ShotTracker, hopes to write the sport’s next chapter with its wearable technology for basketball players and coaches.
Overland Park-based ShotTracker created a three-piece device that allows players to track shot attempts, makes and misses on their iOS or Android device.
“Success is us building a company where we changed the game of basketball and changed the way people practice,” said ShotTracker COO and co-founder Davyeon Ross. “We want the majority of the market that plays basketball — just like they think about their shoes — we want them to think about their ShotTracker.”
A wrist sensor is placed within players’ armbands or sleeves to track a shot attempt while a net sensor records a missed or made shot. The data is then transmitted via Bluetooth to a user’s mobile device with information such as shooting performance, a shot chart and more. Coaches can set up drills for players, review their shooting performance and even challenge them in a game of “horse.”
Founded in 2013 by Ross and Bruce Ianni, ShotTracker has scored serious traction in the tech and basketball market. The company has shipped hundreds of products — priced at $150 each —around the world, and recently became the official wearable technology of the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
In addition, one of the game’s best shooters, NBA Champion and Golden State Warrior guard Klay Thompson, dons a ShotTracker as part of an endorsement deal. Over the summer, ShotTracker and Thompson offered a virtual basketball camp challenging users to a variety of drills and workouts with the chance to win prizes.
Here are a few more comments from our conversation with Ross:
On getting to know Klay Thompson …
We had a good conversation. I went out there and spent some time with him and got to know Klay. He used the product and loved it. From there, once an athlete loves the product and sees its value, it gives you a unique opportunity to do a deal and we were able to come to terms. … The rest is history. It’s been an awesome relationship for us. I like to tell people that we were the reason that he won that (2015 NBA) championship, but we all know that we only played a very little part in that. We couldn’t have planned it out any better.
On offering the first-ever virtual basketball camp …
The piece that was significant of (the Thompson endorsement deal) was the virtual camp. It was the first of its kind. Nothing like that had ever been done before, and it was our technology that enabled the opportunity to be able to do that. … It increased our sales and we were shooting 30,000 to 40,000 jumpers a day as a community. We’re a small community and that’s really exciting for us because the engagement was amazing.
On endorsements from coach Bill Self, John Calipari and others at the NABC …
The partnership with the National Association of Basketball Coaches is really a validation point for us. It means we’re doing something right because here you have an organization with the most dominant and the best coaches in the sport of basketball and they handpick who their partners are. They have the opportunity to partner with anybody. So it’s a testament to what we’re doing with ShotTracker.