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At the core of the courts: The story behind North Pole Hoops

During his time at the University of Guelph-Humber, Tariq Sbiet had an idea that would change the Canadian basketball realm. In 2011, he followed his passion for basketball and set a goal to create more exposure of Canadian basketball players through marketing and promotion. 

His idea became a reality when he created North Pole Hoops. Mike Dotto, former classmate of Tariq and director of video at North Pole Hoops, recalls that the innovative idea emerged from their backgrounds in marketing and a joint love of basketball. 

North Pole Hoops began as a way for basketball fans to keep track of their favourite Canadian players. According to founder and CEO Tariq Sbiet, the growth of the company began to fill the need for exposure. 

“The vision was always about national. It was always about Canadian basketball at all levels. It was always born out of a need for exposure. I played ball, my brother played ball and we were [5 feet 8 inches, 5 feet 9 inches] point-guards so it’s very difficult to get to the next level of opportunity,” said Sbiet. “But then I am looking at guys that are like six feet eight inches, and athletic and they aren’t getting scholarships. So if they weren’t getting scholarships, how were we going to get them?”

North Pole Hoops continues to maximize exposure opportunities for athletes across the country. They have worked with multiple NBA players including Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph, who around the company are known as the “pioneers” of what is being referred to as the “golden age” of Canadian basketball. 

They have also expanded their repertoire to include hosting high school and representative (rep.) level team circuits and tournaments. 

The company has become more prevalent on social media, particularly on Instagram where their account boasts upwards of 30,000 followers. Dotto says the company is “still growing and striving to have a larger reach.”

“We are trying to evolve, and making sure that we can provide that [service] not only in Ontario but in every province in Canada and eventually the world, because there is nothing that is going to stop us,” said Dotto. 

The future is bright for North Pole Hoops as they enter a new decade and try to build upon their success. Sbiet says that as they continue to grow, he will keep the same mentality that got him to where he is.

“My mentality and my approach is that you create your reality. You create whatever you want to do. You go get it. If that was not my mentality, I don’t think we would be here.”