Apr 23, 2020
Basketball never stops with HomeCourt
Ryan Vicknair, Jeremy Gsell and Clay Keith

As the popular Nike slogan suggests, basketball never stops. The people from HomeCourt, a basketball training app, have taken this slogan to new heights — helping basketball players of all ages and skill levels improve their game anywhere at any time. 

The app is designed to test and improve skillsets for basketball players, ranging from shooting, ball-handling, finishing, and agility. Additionally, using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) called “Shot Science,” HomeCourt is capable of giving real-time feedback on release times, release angles, vertical, speed, leg angles, and shot filters. 

Whether you’re a coach, athletic trainer, or physical education teacher, HomeCourt can help set up a virtual team or class group for players to stay connected and continue skill development on their own time. 

Birthed by NEX Team Inc., a mobile AI company started by a team of entrepreneurs and former Apple, Google and Facebook engineers and employees, HomeCourt combines cutting edge mobile, AI and computer vision technologies with deep community engagement experiences within the basketball world. To date, HomeCourt is used by players in more than 170 countries worldwide and has tracked more than 45 million shots and 70 million dribbles.

How It Works

After downloading the app, users should set up their device on a tripod, standing at three-to-five feet, and ensure that the player, backboard, and the entire 3-point line are in view. 

Photo: HomeCourt

Ball-handling drills require only a ball, and by utilizing a smartphone or tablet’s front-facing camera, athletes can complete challenges in real-time — not only tracking individual progression and performance but seeing where they rank among other users in the app’s contest feature. Players are then scored by the apps “Skill Ratings” feature, developed in partnership with the NBA, to help measure their work and improvement across a variety of core basketball skill areas. Skill Ratings are based on the four criteria HomeCourt believes to reflect strong performance in actual games: accuracy, speed, consistency, and difficulty. The ratings are calculated on a scale from 0 to 99. For example, some of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA would score in the 90+ range. 

Speaking of shooting, the game-changing tool “Shot Science” can offer real-time feedback on all of the finer points in a player’s shot. With “Shot Science,” a player is able to gain advanced insights that are unable to be tracked by the naked eye, allowing the player to train smarter and more efficiently. 

» Related: Total approach to basketball conditioning

Ever wonder if you’re getting too much arc on your shots? How about how much lift you have on your vertical? Does your release angle differ on catch-and-shoot plays and off the dribble? If so, by how much? 

“Shot Science” and HomeCourt can help players answer those questions and form consistent shooting habits. 

Get in the Game

Knowing the natural competitive nature of basketball players, HomeCourt has a challenge/contest feature available to test their skills with other players all over the world or teammates alike. A recent challenge, for example, urged users to replicate signature moves from NBA stars like Trae Young’s patented step-back 3-pointer, Donovan Mitchell’s spin move, and Eric Gordon’s catch and release. 

Pairing hoop-heads of all ages with some of the game’s top players has been a cornerstone approach for HomeCourt. With NBA Global Scout, players can get their own NBA Draft Combine measurements and participate in different positional skill development exercises inspired by the real NBA Draft Combine. Players can record themselves going through all the drills the stars of tomorrow do and showcase their own potential. 

The app’s new mobile AI tech allows for players to measure their hand size, wingspan, vertical, standing reach and provides assessments in shooting, agility, and ball-handling drills. Upon completion of the program, users are eligible for different showcase opportunities provided by the Jr. NBA, Basketball Without Borders, NBA Academy, G League, WNBA, and the Basketball Africa League. 

‘Open Run’ for a Limited Time

In the wake of social distancing advice from cities and states across the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic, HomeCourt is making it easier for athletes to stay game-ready from the comfort of their own driveways. 

Pricing typically came in tiers of monthly ($7.99), yearly ($69.99) and team yearly ($1,000), which allows up to 15 accounts under that price. All pricing plans also came with a 14-day free trial. But in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, HomeCourt made the announcement on March 19 that all of its services will be free to users through April 30. 

“To help our communities stay in the game while also stopping the spread, all of HomeCourt will be free for everyone through April 30th,” according to a company statement on its website. “We are also providing coaches, PE teachers, trainers, teams, and parents access to programming and digital instructional tools that they can use to provide their players with remote physical education.”

In coordination with free user access, HomeCourt has also partnered with the NBA and others to provide world-class digital/mobile basketball training programs, helping connect basketball communities virtually and assist rising young athletes in continuing their journey to the next level.

The app’s website, HomeCourt.ai, as well as its social media platforms, offers different drills, tutorials, and other instructional materials for at-home training and development. Additionally, HomeCourt will be highlighting and curating workouts from professional athletes, trainers, and more that can be done from home. Former two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash and three-time WNBA champion Sue Bird are just two of the names that have teamed up with HomeCourt. 

Look out for personal challenges from NBA and WNBA players on social media and get involved by tagging and challenging a pro athlete and a friend or teammate with #StayInTheGame to see if they can beat your top score on HomeCourt.

“This is a difficult time for many athletes whose aspirations for getting to the next level are put on hold. Many of the pathways that we are accustomed to — showcase tournaments, combines, camps, and academies have been paused as we all work together to fight COVID-19,” according to the company website. “Everyone hopes that we can all get back to business as usual, but in the meantime, HomeCourt is here to help support our aspiring athletes stay ready for their next big opportunity.”

For more information, visit www.homecourt.ai.

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