By Jon Swartz
An all-star team of former NBA players and tech entrepreneurs have developed an app that is the equivalent of Airbnb for pick-up basketball games.
XvsX Sports’ app lets hoopsters find and book top-tier indoor courts across the country, which isn’t as easy as it sounds, company founder Metta World Peace told MarketWatch in an interview.
“After you leave professional sports, you try to find ways to continue to play,” said World Peace, an 18-year veteran of the league who was a member of the 2010 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers. “Often, that isn’t as easy as it sounds.”
Access to quality courts is no small feat: There are around 23 million basketball players in the U.S., but they have access to only about 5% of indoor courts — and those that do, pay on average of $160 per recreational league.
The concept of XvsX is simple: Scan the app for hundreds of high-quality indoor courts in a region, and book it for a designated period of time.
Investors and other participants include ex-NBAers Al Harrington, Nick Young, Jermaine O’Neal and Stephen Jackson. The tech roster consists of angel investor Brad O’Neill, whose company TechValidate was sold to SVMK Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204753223/composite SVMK +3.01% ; Charles Jolley, who sold two companies to Facebook Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +0.81% ; and Stephen Stokols, co-founder of FreedomPop, a wireless Internet and mobile virtual network operator.
“There is a huge market for anyone who wants to participate in a pickup game on a nice indoor court with nets,” Stokols told MarketWatch.