Kansas City Startup Gets $5 Million Boost From Magic Johnson And David Stern
Kansas City entrepreneur Davyeon Ross just got the endorsement of a lifetime — from NBA legend Magic Johnson.
Ross is the co-founder of ShotTracker, a basketball analytics startup and Johnson, along with former NBA commissioner David Stern and other investors, announced they're putting $5 million into the firm's latest product.
"I grew up watching Magic play, so to be sitting in a conference room with him, and have that relationship is huge," Ross says.
"And I have nothing but the utmost respect in what Mr. Stern, David, has done over the last 30, 40 years for the NBA, so when we heard that two of these individuals were excited about what we're doing, saw the vision it was huge validation for us personally, for our team."
ShotTracker got its start launching a wearable sensor that analyzes an individual player’s basketball shots. The new product, ShotTracker TEAM, builds on that — simultaneously tracking an entire team’s analytics in real time.
“ShotTracker TEAM will revolutionize the game not only because it automates the tracking of detailed player stats, but also because it’s an affordable solution for basketball programs at every level,” Johnson said in a statement.
Wednesday's announcement comes as ShotTracker prepares to bring ShotTracker TEAM to market.
“For us it’s being able to take this money, finalize the commercialization of the product do the installs, set up some demo centers, so we’re very excited about it and its going to help us accelerate our time to market,” Ross says.
In addition to the money, Johnson and Stern will continue to advise the ShotTracker team and help build relationships in the basketball market.
Ross says although having the support of NBA stars is huge for them, the ultimate goal is to bring NBA-level analytics to high-school and recreational teams.
ShotTracker is wrapping up its final weeks on the West Coast as part of the Los Angeles Dodgers Accelerator.
Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter for KCUR 89.3. Connect with her on Twitter @larodrig.