Hoop Group Acquired by 3STEP Sports
In a marriage of two youth sports organizations, 3STEP Sports, a youth sports club and event operator, has acquired Hoop Group, a grassroots youth basketball brand.
3STEP has operations in 43 states and serves more than 3.2 million athletes across nine sports through events, club programs and media content. Founded by David Geaslen, 3STEP offers sports participation, leadership training and professional development. Its mission is to be the standard of the youth sports experience and create consistency in the industry.
Hoop Group’s history dates back to 1963 when Bob and Pat Kennedy started a summer camp in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Bob was a high school and college coach and Pat was involved in women’s basketball. In 1991, their son, Rob, bought the Eastern Invitational Basketball camp, joining the family’s other camps to become Hoop Group.
“Hoop Group came about out of the important question: How do you answer the phone?” said Rob Kennedy, Hoop Group’s president. “We have been in grassroots basketball for a long time and our tagline has always been the same — “Dedicated to fulfilling dreams” – whether that dream is to make the JV team or go to the NBA. We’re trying to deliver on that.”
Over the years, a who’s who of basketball players have passed through Hoop Group’s doors: 73 Hall of Famers, 148 NBA and WNBA players and 240 McDonald’s All-Americans. In 2022 there have been:
- 57,000 participants
- 225 total events
- 2,500 future scholarship athletes
- 162,000 spectators
- 65 camps
“The unique thing about Hoop Group is that we’re a diversified company,” said Rob Kennedy. “We’re not in any one silo. We focus on skill and player development, giving kids a platform to showcase those skills in front of college coaches. We’re very excited to be joining 3STEP. What they have done to this point is very impressive, and I believe in their vision for youth sports. The beauty of this is that I’m not stepping away from the family business. We get to focus more on the court and grow. We’re about to have our 60th anniversary, and I’m looking forward to our 75th anniversary.”
“The sheer number of kids and lives Hoop Group has impacted is remarkable,” said Geaslen. “The rich history and legacy of the Kennedy family have impacted grassroots basketball immeasurably. We are incredibly excited to welcome Hoop Group into the 3STEP family and carry on the legacy of what Bob and Pat Kennedy started in 1963.”