July 2008. My son and his friends had just ripped apart his 3rd mini hoop in the last two weeks, this one collapsed in less than 10 minutes. My reaction as a father... "Mac! [my 11 year old son at the time] move on to another game...I am not buying you another mini hoop..." Mac's reaction, "Dad, why doesn't anyone make a mini hoop that lasts?" Then he went to ask me, "why doesn't SKLZ make a Pro Grade Mini hoop?"
At first I brushed this off, mini hoops were not really on our radar screen...but after a few visits to sporting good stores and department stores and some treasure hunting with my friend Google...to my disbelief, there really wasn't a pro-grade mini hoop available on the market, astonishing.
I sat Mac down, I asked him to design the mini hoop of his dreams...about 20 min later he had a sketch with arrows and notes pointing to key features...
Dunk proof backboard, break away steel rim, two strong door brackets.. no kiddie graphics, looks like an NBA hoop... rubber ball you could dribble..no foam balls.
I told Mac that I would bring his design into the office for review...the team loved it..within days we converted Mac's rough drawing into a working design, within 30 days we had prototypes built and tested [by Mac and his buddies]...and in November of 2008 we shipped our first order, 5000 SKLZ Pro Mini Hoops to Dick's Sports with Mac featured on the front and the back of the box shooting and slamming away. They sold out in a week...that's fast.
Thanks to Mac, kids all over the world "Finally have a mini-hoop that lasts..."
For Mac, he has a couple of patents in his name, earns a small royalty % on sales and maybe most importantly has a mini hoop he can enjoy with his friends.
As you can see, the Pro Mini Hoop is built to last: