Carl Hines President Of AGame Apparel
Just over a year ago we introduced you guys to Carl Hines and AGame Apparel. In that short time Hines and his crew has made AGame Apparel the #1 AAU uniform retailer in the Northeast United States. It seems like every young squad around rocks an AGame uniform. We sat down with Hines and got his input about the uniform world and his basketball tournaments. Here’s our One on One.
BS: What made you get into the uniform business?
CH: It kind of just fell in my lap, believe it or not. I was always intrigued by the different styles of uniforms of professional and collegiate teams and always had an eye for new trends & innovative uniform designs. I met my business partner Ron Paguio, while playing basketball at a local gym. He had a pair of custom basketball shorts made for me with my last name on them and told me to wear them to see how they feel. He had small connections with major uniform manufacturers and was having uniforms made for his friends, doing it as a hobby. My immediate thoughts were to contact everyone I knew and sell them uniforms for their team. The next day, we began talking about turning it into a legitimate business & making a product that would be the best in the industry and selling that product to the masses. Now 3-4 years later, here we are.
BS: What do you accredited your quick success in the AAU business?
CH: AAU Teams want to look good and wear a uniform that players, coaches & parents can be proud of. We offer teams very high quality, professional style uniforms at great prices, that is unbeatable. Also, having hot styles & designs available in which teams can personalize with their team logo, team colors, team name, etc… helps.
BS: What makes AGame uniforms unique?
CH: The styles, the designs, the tackle twill lettering & numbering, the material, the way the uniforms are cut, are all things that set our uniforms apart from the competition. Our uniforms are the closest you can get to a professional or collegiate uniform, at a great price. It really makes the players that wear them feel & look like a pro.
BS: What’s the hottest set of uniforms you ever made?
CH: This year we made the uniforms & apparel for the British Virgin Islands National Team that competed in the FIBA Games this past summer, they were flat out unbelievable. We also provided uniforms for a Breast Cancer Awareness Basketball Game that had the NBA Mothers vs. the NFL Mothers, they were hot!!! The uniforms were Pink & White & had the Breast Cancer Ribbon Logo sewn in all over them. Shaq & Vince Carter were the referees for that game. It was for a great cause & it gave us great honor to supply the uniforms for that type of event.
BS: Why basketball tournaments?
CH: Because it only makes sense. If we are bringing an incredible product to the table why not host a few basketball tournaments and provide a FREE set of uniforms to the winning teams of each division. It’s just another way to promote the AGame brand and showcase great young talent at the same time. We’ve given away FREE T-shirts, bags & other apparel as well.
BS: What do you think about the climate of AAU basketball?
CH: I think it changed the game for young players trying to get to the next level. It’s equally important to play high school/prep school ball and play AAU as well. I think it’s a great way to gain the proper exposure needed to grab the attention of college coaches all over. A lot easier for coaches to go to event or tournament and see multiple players all at once. It gives kids the proper platform to showcase their talent against other great talent from all over the nation. Although some minor AAU rules change from year to year, it’s still the source for young players today.
BS: What can we expect from the future of AGame Apparel?
CH: First & foremost we have a AGame Supershootout Tournament scheduled for March 5th & 6th 2011 @ The Hill School (Pottstown, PA). We have a brand new website launching at the end of January. We have a new product called, AGraphix…that is going to completely change the uniform game. It’s a process where a pattern is imbedded into the material of the uniform to create the same effect you see some of the big-time collegiate teams wearing (Duke, Michigan State, Syracuse, just to name a few). AGraphix will fully launch in February. We will be hosting an Overnight High School Basketball Camp in August, we are very excited about that. Within 2011 we are looking to expand our market to other sports like Soccer, Baseball, Softball & Hockey. All great things to come…