Spike Lee once watched Michael Jordan play and yelled, “It’s gotta be the shoes!” When NBA Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball drives downcourt, don’t be surprised if you hear “It’s gotta be the gloves!”
Shooting baskets is only half the game. Just as important? Ball handling—moving and dribbling with total mastery and control. In 2019, the Charlotte Hornets star player improved his “handles” with the help of weighted, anti-grip training gloves made by Powerhandz. Impressed, Ball looked into Powerhandz to see how he could be a part of the business. Now he’s all in—with the startup, its new merger, and the company’s Power to Give foundation.
Rookie of the Year sets records
Maybe it’s his talent, genes, and commitment, not just the gloves. After all, he once scored 92 points in a high school game. But Ball did things in the NBA this season that make you wonder. Besides winning rookie of the year, he became the only NBA player in the last 60 years to lead all rookies in total points, rebounds, assists, and steals at the All-Star break.
So his partnership with Powerhandz is a huge win for the Frisco-based company. Ball will serve it as a general partner and brand ambassador. The company also announced a merger with the newly formed PH Innovation Holdings to help it scale its business and raise more capital.
Ball will be a board member of PH Innovation Holdings, as well as a board member of the company’s foundation, The Power to Give.
“Adding young creative and rare talent like LaMelo as a general partner gives us a chance to innovate and deliver strategies that reconnect us to male and female athletes, globally,” said Danyel Surrency Jones, co-founder and CEO of Powerhandz, in a statement.
He liked the tech so much, he joined the company
In 2019, Ball had no prior connection to Powerhandz. Then he started training with their patented anti-grip weighted gloves. The gloves are designed to strengthen hand muscles while actually making it more difficult to grip a ball. This forces the hands to develop strength and dexterity so that when the gloves comes off, it feels easier to grip and handle the ball—and in LaMelo’s case, make it do record-setting things.
Ball and his manager and trainer, Jermaine Jackson Sr., looked into Powerhandz and liked what they saw. Co-founded in 2013 by former pro basketball player Darnell Jones and his wife Danyel Surrency Jones, the company was double-minority owned and making waves across sports with its breakthrough training tech.
“A whole vibe”
“Powerhandz is a whole vibe that all youth need to know about and train with,” Ball told Forbes. “They’ve already sold in many countries on their own, I’m just adding some steam to help elevate. It’s cool to work with a Black-woman-owned business in the sports and fitness tech space, that’s rare. We’re about to change the game with our live stream multi-sport training app. I’m just a voice to help amplify what’s already great.”
Ball has good reasons for liking the brand.
“Training is my lifestyle, Using Powerhandz during training and pre-game warm ups just activates everything,” he said in a statement. “I feel more explosive on the court.”
“The Gloves and Powersuit challenge me and I’m excited to see us connect everything to our new training app,” he added. “I liked the overall vision so much, I didn’t want to just be a customer, I wanted to be a major partner, have ownership to create together and share my training with youth all over the world.”
Training app and services platform
Ball will be hands-on in working with the company on its One Ball custom collection, including a multi-sport fitness training app and services platform.
The company says PH Innovation Holdings has an aggressive strategy to disrupt the athletic training and rehab tech marketplace. Its live stream multi-sport training app will feature exclusive content by Ball, pro athletes in other sports, and elite trainers in athletics, fitness, and rehabilitation.
The app will enable Powerhandz to integrate its products and training content to help young athletes, coaches, and parents everywhere.
“We’ve been creating, building and gaining validation from youth and elite athletes, trainers, coaches and the everyday fitness enthusiast for the last six years” Surrency Jones said in the statement. Now she and the company are making their biggest-ever move down the court.
The Power to Give Foundation
Powerhandz gives back through its Power to Give foundation, supporting youth athletes through athletic, education, and career development training programs. A portion of all Powerhandz sales are donated to the charity’s initiatives “with a mission to develop targeted programs that increase a commitment to athletic and academic excellence for youth in underserved communities.”
The company says having LaMelo Ball on board will further its mission and help it reach even more underserved areas. The partnership kicked off at Ball’s youth basketball “1 of 1 Elite Camp” hosted by Powerhandz and Puma in Charlotte, North Carolina. Campers in attendance trained with Powerhandz products and got on the waiting list for the One Ball collection via QRC registration.
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