How new technology enhanced the NBA Draft Combine
The World’s most Tech-Savvy Sports League the NBA recently turned their sights on enhancing their annual Draft Combine, collaborating with Australian tech company Fusion Sport on a new ‘Combine HQ’ platform and app.
Already known for their innovations in augmented and virtual reality for fans, the new Combine HQ platform became a ‘virtual combine’ for teams by centralizing all the data and footage from the Draft Combine into one online hub.
Built using Fusion Sport’s data analytics and athlete management platform Smartabase, Combine HQ provided teams and scouts with an in-depth profile of each Draft eligible athlete with particular emphasis on video and game footage.
The NBA operations team were able to upload the raw data from testing with additional real-time footage of the scrimmages, shooting drills and agility testing for each player so that teams and scouts could visually analyze every Draft hopeful.
Any Combine athlete missed or not thoroughly explored during the Combine could be revisited later by anyone with team credentials to review footage, college stats and games, shot charts, and even interviews and social media feeds.
“We wanted to create the Combine HQ platform to enhance the quality and accessibility of information that we provide to teams and players during the pre-Draft process” says Associate Vice President of Basketball Operations Garth Glissman.
“The NBA currently use Smartabase to develop and monitor athletes in our Global Academies and for USA Basketball, so we knew Fusion Sport would be able to deliver on a custom-built platform. The resulting Combine HQ platform enabled teams to review the results in real time and streamlined our operational processes at the event for both staff and players.”
“What we were most impressed by was the flexibility of the Smartabase software and Fusion Sport’s ability to turnaround such a customized and specific solution for the Draft Combine in just 8 weeks.”
In addition to athlete profiles, teams were encouraged to take advantage of a comparison dashboard to compare the 2019 draft hopefuls to one another, and also to specific historical combine athletes and with the Draft averages.
An associated athlete app also made things more efficient for players who were able to view their results and submit information directly to the NBA via their app. The NBA in turn could issue players with their personalized Draft Combine schedule and send through notifications and text messages as needed.
Fusion Sport are no stranger at the NBA combine where their timing gate system Smartspeed is used for the combine testing itself, and at various other Combines around the globe including the CFL Combine, NFL Regional Combine and Australian Football League Combines.
Originally founded in Australia with US headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, Fusion Sport has experienced strong demand for their athlete management technology Smartabase over the past few years with high-profile teams across the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB adopting the platform to monitor and optimize player health, performance and fitness.
As Fusion Sport’s flagship product Smartabase has proven so successful in optimizing performance for elite sporting teams, Olympic teams and national organizations, that its customer base now extends to military organizations including the US Military, Air Force and Marine Corps and the Naval Health Research Center.
With offices in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, the company founded in 2003 now supports over 150,000 athletes and 8,000 coaching staff through a suite of products that optimize performance and aid professionals to monitor their progress.
NBA teams currently using the Smartabase platform include the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings.
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