Greg Jones II is a former basketball player that was able to turn his passion on the court into a business off the court. He has always been a creative hard worker, which is why it was important to start the G2 Hoops, a sports marketing & event management company specializing in creating a platform for exposure at the grassroots basketball level. G2 Hoops also offers skill development training (on the court), speaking engagements, camps and merchandise. Greg's commitment to excellence on and off of the court don't go unnoticed as Greg has already groomed international athletes as well as the youth right in his own back yard.
Learn more about Greg in the interview below.
How did a young Black guy from Gary, Indiana become someone with international clients?
I was on LinkedIn one night and a gentleman sent me a message asking if I could watch a game film of a college prospect from the 2012 FIBA World Cup. I said sure. It didn't cost me anything to do that and I was always willing to communicate. At the time, you really didn't hear about players coming from Egypt so I didn't know what to expect. I watched the game film and the kid immediately jumped off the screen. His name is Ehab Amin and he finished the 2012 FIBA World Cup as one of the top 5 players. The other four were Jahlil Okafor, Jabari Parker, Dante Exum and Mario Hezonja who all would later become NBA Lottery picks.
In 2014 I was able to get Ehab into the prestigious Nike Global Challenge. Ehab was the first Northern African/Middle Eastern to ever participate in the event. Global Challenge was an event that featured the top U19 players around the world. In Ehab's first game he almost had a triple-double. The following year, I brought a kid by the name of Karim Sameh Azab to the states for a better opportunity. He would go on to be the first Northern African/Middle Eastern born to play on Nike EYBL circuit. After that, as they say, the rest was history. Karim would go on to play for Coach Tubby Smith at Memphis. Unfortunately, Karim died from Acute Lymphoma Leukemia in November 2018.
What was the inspiration behind launching The Sorority Basketball Camp?
The inspiration behind launching the camp was simply to give the girls another platform to compete on. As everyone knows, girls don't get the same attention as boys. Subsequently, you see the tremendous gap in salary between the NBA and the WNBA. The Sorority is just that, a sisterhood. The girls compete over two days and it's tough. They develop priceless friendships and stay in touch after camp. We've had the camp only since 2017. Currently have former campers playing at D1, D2 and NAIA levels. The Sorority is an invite-only camp that girls from Midwest Region can attend. We have received requests to extend the camp's reach to other regions of the USA and throughout the continent of Africa.
How does it feel to know your work and influence is international?
When I first was getting started that was the furthest thought in my mind. I was just trying to help kids out. It didn't hit him actually until recently. Just knowing I played a smart part in the larger plan is priceless.
With all that you've accomplished, what else is on your vision board?
Covid-19 made me really step out. I started really getting my merchandise out there and because of that was able to get a hat business account deal done with LIDS. We started selling hats strictly e-commerce in April. I didn't think it would take off like it did but we have already exceeded the number of hats we set for 12 months in 5 months. It's almost operating as a separate entity from the rest of the company because it brings a whole different demographic they may not be into basketball. We offer New Era Snapback hats and New Era knits/beanies. There are 12 hats available for purchase. All hats have unique names from things in my life. In regards to G2 Hoops, we will continue to push the needle and be trendsetters in the space. We currently have three high school events that receive national recognition. The events are Turkey TipOff, Hoops 4 Pink and Mac Jelks Invitational. In the first three years of the events, we have had over 50 kids participate that are currently playing NCAA D1 basketball (men's and women's).
How important for you is it to create a lasting legacy?
It's extremely important. Again, one of the reasons I named the company G2 Hoops. I think when people see our logo or know it's an event we are part of they know we stand for excellence.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to be not only generational wealth but to show everyone that if a kid from Gary, Indiana can make it so can you. I want to be an inspiration for others that come from areas like Gary, Indiana. The more you can see yourself in others the more motivation you'll have. You don't start living until you're living for others.
For more information on Greg, G2 Hoops and The Sorority Basketball Camp, visit them online.