Twin brothers Dominic ’11 (Marketing) and Donte ’11 (General Management) Morris are basketball fanatics with an acumen for entrepreneurship. They found an opportunity to meld the two out of the frustration they encountered finding pickup games.
Such was the genesis for Hoop Maps. An app that can find a pickup basketball game anywhere in the world, Hoop Maps had been downloaded about 1,000 times before CBS13 featured a segment on it last week leading into the NCAA Tournament. That number rocketed quickly after the TV coverage: Dominic said in a phone interview March 22 that it had been downloaded 10,000 times in the previous three days. Coverage of the brothers’ invention has taken off as well. They since have been featured on popular technology websites TechCrunch and SportTechie, and on March 27 on ESPN’s morning SportsCenter show.
Talk about a pickup.
Dominic said the brothers, 28, had the idea for a while before launching it last year. “We thought it was going to get all the buzz and for almost a year … people didn’t take to it,” he said.
To happen upon a game was as effortless as a Kyrie Irving drive to the basket when the brothers were growing up in Oakland, they told CBS13. But nowadays, finding a game after work hours can be tougher than locating TruTV on your channel roster. They figured a marriage of smart phones’ GPS feature and players’ quest for some good run was a natural.
“So that’s kind of what sparked the idea,” Donte told CBS13.
Going into business together also came naturally for the twins, who Dominic said did “everything” together as schoolkids. Now that they’ve found a potentially worldwide market geared toward players of an immensely popular sport, the Morrises, who also are founders of a local fall baseball league, seem well positioned for a big score. “Now that everything is happening,” Dominic said, “this is how we saw it.”