3STEP Sports Acquires Iconic Grassroots Basketball Brand Hoop Group

WILMINGTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–3STEP Sports, the nation’s largest and most influential youth sports club and event operator, has acquired the nationally acclaimed Hoop Group, which has been synonymous with the development of young basketball players for six decades .

The rich history of Hoop Group dates back to 1963 when Bob and Pat Kennedy started a summer camp in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Bob was a successful high school and college coach and Pat was heavily involved in women’s basketball. Soon the camps were attracting some of the best boy and girl players in the country and it boomed from there. Camps have started to grow with many clinics focusing on skill development at all levels throughout the year.

Basketball has been a way of life in the Kennedy family. Bob and Pat’s sons, Rob and Brian, were successful college players and coaches (Brian is currently the head coach of NJIT); Bob’s brother Pat was the head coach of Iona, Florida State and DePaul. In 1991, Rob left college coaching and purchased the Eastern Invitational Basketball camp, which joined with the other family camps and later became Hoop Group.

In 1998 Bob retired and Rob took over the family business and started adding leagues and showcases. Soon, Rob opened a four-lot, 25,000 square foot facility in Neptune, NJ, and the business took off.

“Hoop Group was born out of the important question: how do you answer the phone?” said Rob Kennedy, who is now president of Hoop Group. “We’ve been in grassroots basketball for a long time and our slogan has always been the same: Dedicated to making dreams come true, whether that dream is to make the JV team or go to the NBA. Ultimately, we are trying to achieve that.”

Over the years, a who’s who of basketball players has passed through Hoop Group’s doors: 73 Hall of Famers, 148 NBA and WNBA players, and 240 McDonald’s All-Americans. It’s more than elite players, though. The number of children who participate in Hoop Group events each year is staggering. In 2022 alone, there were:

  • 57,000 attendees

  • 225 events in total

  • 2,500 future scholarship athletes

  • 162,000 spectators

  • 65 fields

“The unique thing about Hoop Group is that we are a diversified company,” said Rob Kennedy. “We are not in a single silo. We focus on developing skills and players, and then giving kids a platform to showcase those skills in front of college coaches.

“We are delighted to join 3STEP. What they have done so far is very impressive and I believe in their vision of youth sport. The beauty of it all is that I’m not walking away from the family business. We can focus more on the pitch and grow. We’re about to turn 60e anniversary and looking forward to our 75e anniversary.”

3STEP’s reach spans 43 states and serves more than 3.2 million athletes in nine sports through premier events, nationwide club programs, premium media content and more. 3STEP was founded by David Geaslen, who sought to create better experiences and more opportunities for athletes and their families. 3STEP’s mission is to be the standard of youth sports experience and create consistency in the industry. 3STEP also runs the nonprofit charity Mission Win, which aims to transform children’s lives through sports participation, leadership training and professional development.

“The number of children and lives Hoop Group has touched is remarkable,” Geaslen said. “The rich history and legacy of the Kennedy family has had an immeasurable impact on grassroots basketball. We are extremely excited to welcome Hoop Group to the 3STEP family and continue the legacy of what Bob and Pat Kennedy started in 1963.”

To learn more about 3STEP Sports, visit

To learn more about Hoop Group, visit

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