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Grassroots basketball media and one big issue

The big issue underlying these companies? Money

Spurred by the success of the Toronto Raptors since the 2013-14 season, basketball has increased considerably in popularity.

I started writing content for OnPoint Basketball in April of last year, and it has been the best decision I have ever made. From the Raptors 905 to the OnPoint Summer League Pro-Am to the Crown League, I have had the chance to cover and write for different kinds of events on different levels of basketball.

However, all of that has been on a voluntary basis — I have not been paid for doing it. That isn’t because of the company. Rather, it is because of a lack of investment in grassroots basketball media companies.

Considering that hockey and baseball are already established in Canada, attention for basketball is hard to come by. Although it probably will never get to that same level of fan craziness, it is on the right track.

Jaspreet Grewal, a staff writer for OnPoint, can attest to this. Grewal is someone you’d consider one of the “OG writers” of OnPoint, having been there for over two years. Grewal also interns with Canada Basketball and has done notable features on Canadian talent like Melvin Ejim and Khem Birch.

“Honestly, my passion for writing and basketball overrode anything else. Money was secondary in that sense,” Grewal said about the lack of funding when he first started.

But as he gets older, he admits it is an ongoing issue.

“Like now, it (money) is something that is important to me because I need to live my life. I had to pay on my own dime to get out to places I wasn’t compensated (for).”

Saying he got money for “only certain pieces,” Grewal adds, “It was definitely frustrating in that respect. But at the same time, you have to pay your dues and work your way up.”

It has paid dividends for Grewal, who continues to shine in his craft, and as of right now, is working the NBA G-League Showcase, representing OnPoint.

Let’s make this clear. I love where I work. It’s given me a platform to hone my craft and get noticed by people in the basketball industry.

Heck, I get to interview 905 head coach and former NBA buckets-getter Jerry Stackhouse on a consistent basis. That’s not something a lot of people can say. And this is something I want and intend to continue in the long-term, with OnPoint.

But money is what goes in this world. However, the funding will get there eventually, especially with basketball increasing in popularity across Canada.