HoopLife, Changing the Game
Enrol your child in a global sport and support a local business
Calling all parents! If you are interested in getting your young ones interested in sports, basketball is a terrific choice (I may be biased as I literally have “basketball is life” tattooed on my body). However, I will make a compelling case for you to enrol your child in a global sport and support a local business, while your child learns valuable life lessons.
Basketball is one of the fastest growing sports in Canada and a great way to get kids involved in a sport that does not cost you your life savings (goodbye hockey). Basketball is also wonderfully multi-cultural. As a global sport it is the second largest sport in terms of participation right behind soccer. Basketball should be considered extremely Canadian; it was founded by a Canadian, the first NBA game was played in Canada, and it is super multi-cultural, which leads to your child feeling accepted and engaged in the sport. Basketball is great at creating a passion for sport and exercise, creating opportunities to build life-long friendships and a team-first attitudes, as well as being extremely fun and affordable.
The best part about the sport right now is the huge boom in Canadian players in the NBA, RJ Barrett was the second overall pick this past year and will start his basketball career playing in Madison Square Garden, albeit for the Knicks who are terrible. When I grew up there was one Canadian to cheer for, Steve Nash, and he wasn’t even born in Canada! Now kids can choose their Canadian superhero: RJ Barrett, Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, these players are just a few of the top tier NBA players who kids can watch in the NBA.
In addition to all the Canadian talent, chances are you and your kid(s) heard about a certain NBA champion. That’s right, the Toronto Raptors won the NBA championship for the first time in their history and the entire country went wild for a few weeks. Over 50 different cities across the country hosted watching parties for various Finals games and at one point during game 5 of the Finals 13.4 million Canadians tuned in according to the CRTC, and those numbers do not include all the people at various viewing parties and pubs.
Now that I have fully convinced you that basketball is the sport to enrol your child(ren) in this year, let’s talk about HoopLife. A year-round basketball academy that is operated by a group of locals that are passionate about the community and basketball. Andrew Gottselig, the founder of HoopLife grew up in Regina and has grown the company to be a leader in basketball training and giving kids the opportunity to learn the game of basketball and have fun simultaneously. HoopLife has training camps in Regina and Saskatoon, along with doing a variety of mini camps in communities all around Saskatchewan. They host weekly training sessions, various three and five-day camps throughout the year and provide an opportunity for free basketball sessions as well.
Let’s get to the elephant in the room first before you turn the page; there are costs to basketball training and it is FREE – well, sort of. HoopLife provides the opportunity for high schoolers to come to “The Lab” on Sundays to play some competitive pick-up basketball.
For anyone who does not fall into that category, camps are as follows: if you commit to one year of basketball training, the cost is a reasonable $99 per month. With this you get 25 credits that you can use towards weekly training and can choose from many dates to fit busy schedules. This includes full access to Christmas, Easter, and February break three-day camps; full access to a 5-day summer camp (if you cannot attend camps you will be given additional sessions); your child will receive quarterly progress reports and lastly, as a member you will receive 10 per cent off any additional sessions, camps, or apparel.
The company’s Executive Director, Habib Habib, stands by HoopLife; he is involved in every aspect of the company including running a lot of the camps. On the website Habib is quoted saying,
“The number one way to shine as basketball player is to put the hours in working on your fundamentals. The HoopLife membership is the greatest investment ant young player can make to properly develop their game and truly shine on the court.”
My cousins, who will remain nameless, attend HoopLife basketball camps and excessively rave about how much they love it and they absolutely adore Habib.
There are a few reviews that I reached out to a few people for regarding their experience with HoopLife, Christina had this to say:
“HoopLife has been a terrific experience for our son, he had attended other camps before, but when he attended a HoopLife camp, he wanted to keep going every week! The staff are terrific and run a great program.”
Aksa also raved about HoopLife, “We have sent all four of our boys to their camps and the boys all love it. They are constantly learning and although they are not the best players in the world, they are all getting better and getting excited about their progress through the programs.”
Aksa continued speaking about the HoopLife mobile app, which gives players tips, drills, and custom plans to continue to practice at home on their own time. “My one boy will practice on our hoop at home right at crack of dawn, he checks out a few different drills on the app and then will practice that over and over, he is really committed.”
HoopLife gives the opportunity to train year-round for kids aged 7-18 with various camps for each age level and skill level. If you go to their website www.hooplifebasketball.com you can find much more information. If you go to their “Basketball Training” tab and click on “Browse Camps” you can easily sort by your location (Regina, Saskatoon), sex (male, female), age (7-18), and skill level (beginner, intermediate, elite) and date (Sept. 21 – Nov. 10).