South Florida entrepreneurs create ‘smart basketball hoop’

MIAMI – If you’ve paid close attention to sports in the last two decades, you’ve noticed a shift toward numbers and analytics.

Many athletes trying to get whatever edge they can, as they train and play.

Now, a pair of South Floridians are taking a technological twist to a classic piece of childhood equipment and are hoping it provides an added boost to athletes’ games.

Co-founders Paul Anton and Lyth Saeed have created Huupe, billed as the world’s first “smart basketball hoop.”

“For the first time, we’re bringing basketball analytics to the home,” Anton said.

“The ability of tracking your shots as a basketball player is so important,” Saeed said. “Guys running around with notebooks, recording every shot, how many shots you took a day, we can record all that right from the hoop and all you have to do is work on your game.”

It’s a simple enough premise, but it wasn’t a simple process getting Huupe to where it is now.

What started as basketball games on Snapchat shared between each other evolved into an idea that had Paul and Lyth building a prototype with a couple of friends in their garage.

From there, the two got some funding and kept at work, going through about six iterations and showcasing Huupe in neighborhoods across the country, ultimately improving it into what they have now.

Weatherproof, shockproof and with an HD screen built right in, it’s able to withstand anything—both indoors and outdoors.

Huupe has three bedrocks: gaming, training, and streaming—all of which can be controlled from the central app.

And this provided range of activities supports the idea that Huupe can be beneficial not just for athletes hoping to develop an advantage.

“We’re for kids, we’re for adults and we’re for everyone,” Anton said. “It’s a fun product. It’s not all about working out. It’s about gaming and having fun.”

So how does it work?

“It’s all controlled by three cameras,” Saeed said. “We track the player and the ball. That’s how we tell where you are on the court and whether a shot was made or missed. We don’t use any sensors. It’s all camera technology.”

In addition to the makes and misses, Huupe also uses artificial intelligence to track swishes, trajectory, vertical and wingspan, providing all that data in real time, heightening the overall experience.

The team is confident in what they have and proud of what it’s taken to get to this point.

“We were really motivated by our vision and just being in basketball,” Saeed said. “We love the sport. We knew we wanted to work in basketball. Some people believed, others didn’t. But we believed in ourselves and that’s how we got here.”

The plan is for the product to launch in summer 2023, with a focus on getting it in as many driveways across the world, as possible. The product, as listed on the company’s website, is priced at $3,995.

$100 down payments to pre-order the Huupe are available now.

About the Author:

Gio Insignares joined the Local 10 News team in May 2021 as an anchor and reporter. He’ll be co-anchoring the new WSFL Morning Newscast, Monday-Friday from 7-9 a.m., and also contribute to other WPLG newscasts.