This October, we’re getting to know the Brainbase team and sharing their side hustles and hobbies outside of work. Brainbase’s Senior Customer Success Manager, Blake Arnet, has a passion for the growth of young people through his love of basketball. From being a youth basketball coach to spreading awareness about Multiple Sclerosis through an annual fundraiser, Blake’s devotion to support the next generation is an inspiring side hustle we’re proud to share.
Youth Basketball Coach
Blake started his journey as a youth basketball coach in 2012. He began during his senior year of college and was initially working under a small sports coaching company. After learning how their business ran, he decided to build his own network and take out the “middle man” by providing his coaching services personally and growing his coaching clientele every year during his free time. In turn, he is committed to training and coaching kids from the ages of five to eighteen and tracking their progress in game. Blake states, “Giving them the tools to become a better basketball player and be more confident in life is priceless.”
We asked Blake if he had any cool experiences while being a youth basketball coach, and he mentioned training a family from West Los Angeles who had an amazing home overlooking all of Los Angeles and the ocean. “The views and home was one you see in a magazine. It was the home that LeBron James wanted to buy when he was trying to move to Los Angeles a couple of years ago. It has a brand new indoor basketball court built into the hill underneath the house. The family was super nice and we used to play pickup basketball with the dad and friends on a weekly basis.”
Additionally Blake offers advice to those who are interested in pursuing a similar side hustle, no matter what the sport may be. He says, “I suggest volunteering as a coach at your local recreation center for a couple of seasons. You’ll meet some great kids and parents who love your sport and you’ll be interacting with your target market. The access and relationships you could build will help you grow your coaching clientele.”
Dunk MS is an annual fundraiser that brings the Multiple Sclerosis and Basketball communities together to share one common goal – finding a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. Founded in honor of Blake’s late mother, Brigitte, this unique event features a pro dunk showcase by the world’s top dunkers. Additionally, this fundraiser includes a kids basketball clinic, sponsor tables, silent auction, free tacos and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Having raised more than $100k in their first three years, there is no other unique event like Dunk MS in the world.
Blake started his planning and research in 2017 and officially launched Dunk MS on May 5th, 2018. His favorite experience since starting his fundraiser is seeing everyone have a great time at the event. Blake states, “A lot of planning, organization, and collaboration go into this event and it’s a lot of fun to see it all come together for the 3-hour event. The kids have so much energy and the dunk show is always a fan favorite.” A video of one of their pro dunkers jumping and amazing 49 inches was also featured on SportsCenter’s Instagram along with a few other big-time media outlets.
If you’re interested in starting a fundraiser to raise awareness and support a cause you’re passionate about, Blake recommends doing your research and getting a solid volunteer team in place. For Dunk MS, Blake says he couldn’t have done it without the help of his year-round and day-of volunteer team.