Hoop State Network highlights NC's rich basketball talent and tradition

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Webb Wellman spent years on the basketball mixtape circuit traveling the country to hype the latest and greatest basketball talents on the scene.

"You know, fate has always taken care of me in this industry. From meeting John Wall right away to the way our friendship kind of grew," Wellman said.

In early 2019, he decided to stay home and launched a new venture - The Hoop State Network - a digital content factory geared entirely toward highlighting North Carolina's one-of-a-kind grassroots basketball culture.

"The community is amazing, and all it needs is people like me, Jonah and our team of people with us to scale it up and grow it the right way and create this incredible platform that is not available anywhere else," Wellman said.

Things have quickly taken off. In addition to a YouTube channel and social media, Hoop State streams many of the biggest high school games in state and even sells branded clothing. Still, Wellman dreams bigger.

"I've always said if we ever find someone that's like-minded and has the business mind, you know, people are going to be in trouble," he said. "We're going to be able to really make some noise."

That's where Jonah Baize comes in. A former Clemson basketball player, he now runs a venture capital firm with his former teammate Trevor Booker.

"I came to Webb personally and said 'look you fit the mold for the type of founder that we love to have in our portfolio, under our umbrella. You fit, you have this, you know, this, this great vision,'" Baize said.

Baize and Booker and more to the point, their bucks are now onboard, which affords Wellman the opportunity to build out his vision. At the core of it -- all the relationships he and his team have built.

"Trust is everything. I personally believe that for me I'm here because of the way that I have built these relationships," Wellman said. "It's less about my talent and more about people believe and trust that I'm going to work my butt off to do exactly what i say I'm going to do for them."

For a former baller like Baize, it's also an opportunity to foster the game he loves.

"This has a ton of potential" he said.

As Wellman laid out in his introductory video: "The reason we are the hoop state is because we have the best basketball community in America. And that's why we're here."
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