Tony Devine, a teacher and coach, invented the Original Profender for his son to practice basketball. The Profender has the shape of a human silhouette positioned on a stable rolling base. Its height and position are adjustable by an operator holding an attached pole. The device acts as a defending player, dodging and weaving in front of a player, replacing stationary devices that were not helpful in recreating real game situations. He had had some success selling the Profender out of the back of his car at basketball games. Tony’s original plan was for the Profender to be used for college and professional athletes. He now had in mind a less expensive, more portable version for the home market.
Tony’s son demonstrated by shooting at a basket as the Profender tried to distract him. Tony then invited Mark to try it out. But for Mark he had a special Profender, the “original offender,” Kevin’s headshot, with lots of hair, on the silhouette.
The sharks didn’t offer a deal, mainly because they felt the cost of the Profender was too high. But Tony didn’t give up. Today, the Original Profender is used in basketball programs across the country. He was able to fund the at-home version on Kickstarter. Five different versions are now available on his website, and he has diversified with a device used for football. Tony and his products are known and respected by some of the biggest names in college basketball and the NBA.