360 Hoops, a Grata client, soars at Orlando Magic game

As a relatively new collaborator with Grata Software, one of the things I’ve enjoyed learning is the variety of companies and industries that Rey Ortega’s Orlando company works with, like 360 Hoops.

Think about it: the tech consulting services Grata provides are much like my marketing and storytelling skills in that most companies can use them.

So it was pretty cool to see one of Grata’s clients at the Orlando Magic/Chicago Bulls game recently.

Please don’t ask me about the game. My Bulls lost by 19 points.

However, the halftime show was pretty neat.

BOYS AND GIRLS BASKETBALL

On the court, I watched two girls’ basketball teams play each other on a hoop like nothing I’ve ever seen, even as a lifelong sports fan.

One ball. Two teams. Three-sided basket.

It’s the invention of 360 Hoops, a Sanford company that recently partnered with the Orlando Magic to show off their baskets at the game. Grata provides  360 Hoops with IT consulting and monitoring.

360 Hoops really is a Central Florida win. Sanford residents Shane Brey and Anthony Gomez created the company.

At the game, the company set up a group of hoops at a fan fest outside of the Amway Center. Then, during halftime, they set up a few on the court.

The crowd responded, too.

 

Don’t ask me the final score of the NBA game but the girls’ game was fast-paced and exciting.

I’m certain Grata CEO Rey Ortega himself,  a high school girls basketball coach likes this form of basketball.

Officials lowered the rims so, naturally, there were a few dunks.

But they all paled in comparison to the last dunk of halftime.

THE MAGIC OF DUNKING

As the Orlando Magic came back from their locker room for the second-half tipoff, Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony’s curiosity was piqued.

Instead of heading to the bench, he asked one of the young players to toss him the ball so he could dunk it on the 360 Hoops basket.

I’ve got to say, the windmill jam was really fun to watch.

“You have an elite NBA player who sees the experience and says, ‘Hey, I want to be a part of that,’” said Archie McEachern, a former Nike executive who now serves as 360 Hoops’ CEO. “It was unbelievable.”

I have to admit: it was pretty cool.

While the game on the court was casual, I could see this getting ultra-competitive in a formal setting.

Officials can place the basket as low as 4.5 feet or as high as an NBA regulation 10 feet high.

Even in a training setting, just having that three-sided hoop means more practice time for each player.

 

“This is about bringing more people into the product and the game,” McEachern said. “Whether it’s recreational or playing a serious game of 3-on-3, it’s good for them. Having the Magic and especially Cole here, it validates exactly what we think the experience is like.”

The partnership with the Magic came from a relationship between 360 Hoops Florida sales rep and former NBA player Patrick Burke.

Burke played for the Magic and Phoenix Suns during a brief career in the mid-2000s. A conversation with the Magic became the two-pronged Fan Fest/halftime show combo.

To know that Grata and Central Florida has this type of cool business helps reinforce why I plan to remain in the region for years to come. Join us in embracing the vibrant business community of Central Florida. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can support your business growth in the region.

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