We had the good fortune of connecting with Bj Cummings and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bj, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my business after working for the Boys and Girls club and the YMCA and seeing the areas where our youth were not being served properly. There was a need that I saw I could fill if I had the right team in place. Our youth want to be in structured environments and have opportunities to express themselves in various athletic fields and I feel they were being under-served due to different policies and procedures that were put in place by certain organizations. I also wanted to reach more female athletes who were not coming to these organizations because some had no sense of belonging or were intimidated.
What should our readers know about your business?
Swoops Hoops was established in 2014, we focus on 4 main areas: basketball training, education/health, mentorship, and community concern. Each of these areas are approached with basketball being our driving tool. We have and will continue to develop programs that will have a positive impact on the communities that we serve.
Our staff sets us apart from other organizations because we are solely focused on the needs of the youth and we do not work for personal gain. Our programs are client focused and not a cookie cutter , one size fits all program. To get to where we are today we had to go through the growth process of starting with 2 clients and word of mouth helped us to grow to where we are today. The road was not easy at all. We have been kicked out of several facilities from North Carolina to Georgia while trying to build our client base.
We overcame these challenges by being persistent and going back to our child hood values of not quitting and not making excuses. Anything worth having is worth working for. The lessons I have learned along this journey is that you should have a plan in place but when God puts a vision in your mind just get going and things will work out if you do not give up. Its been days where I had to train for free, train outside, train large groups alone, but eventually things started to get better.
My story is not that different from others who have been successful in any field or on any level. One thing I will say is that you must believe in your vision and must be willing to see it to the end no matter what is going on around you. You must at some point have tunnel vision and not get distracted by outside influences. The Swoops Hoops brand is built on finding those who have a gift and them allowing us to nurture that gift not just with skills training, but with tough love and valuable life skills. We focus on the whole person and give them skills that will outlast their playing days.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well I am not the best person for this question… my friends and I are fairly simple people. We like sports, shopping , and minimal entertainment. They know if they visit me that we will end up at the gym to play ball or workout, we are going somewhere to get some pasta or chicken, then I am in the house.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to recognize or give a shoutout to my mom Veronica Cummings. She was a single mother of 3 with me being the youngest and the only boy. She sacrificed everything for us growing up to ensure that we had everything we needed. We always had a lot of love and our home and she did not allow us to make excuses about anything. She inspired me to become a coach and to give back to those who may not have the things I have. She lives her life as a servant first and that is my goal, to serve in any capacity that I can. My mother is everything to me. Without her I would not be the man I am today.
Facebook: Swoops Hoops
Other: BJ Cummings also on Facebook