KENNESAW, ga — At age 23, Trent Markwith already became a household name in the grassroots basketball world. He climbed up the rankings at his job in such a short time and he quickly became the company’s top middleman between college coaches and high school recruits. Markwith finally found stability in what he loved to do and not to long after this, he quit his job.
“I just felt like it was good timing,” said Trent Markwith. “I can do what I want, how I want and whenever I want too.”
There was some skepticism from friends and family regarding his decision, but this decision was strategically planned for a couple of years. Markwith previously worked for Prep Hoops, a leading platform in grassroots basketball news, as a contributor and an event coordinator while he attended Wofford University. But after a two-year tenure working with Prep Hoops, he decided to take a leap of faith and start his own recruiting business, and thus; Relentless Hoops was born.
“I liked Prep Hoops, they had a pretty similar vision as me,” said Markwith. “But now I have the freedom and control of everything. It’s (Relentless Hoops) completely my brand.”
Markwith created Relentless Hoops in December of 2019 with the aspirations of not only becoming the top recruiting news platform in the southeast, but he also wanted to be the #1 platform that connected high school recruits to collegiate coaches of all levels. These are lofty goals for any individual attempting to get in that space, especially for an individual as young as Markwith. He credits his drive for basketball recruiting from playing the game his entire life.
“I just always been around basketball,” said Markwith. “I went to Millsap College in Mississippi. The program was in a bad shape, so I transferred to Wofford after my junior year and I was thinking about walking on, but it didn’t work out. I just wanted to stay around the game and that’s how I got into this.”
Covid-19’s Impact on Sports
Markwith did not waste any time once he started his business by already organizing some events in the Spring and in the Summer for under recruited high school players. But he could not plan for what would happen next and what happened next was the rise of the coronavirus.
“When I decided to branch out, I was like this is going to be perfect,” said Markwith. “I still have some of the high school season left and then AAU I would be able to cover a lot of ground. Then coronavirus hit and now your kind of in a dead period where nothing is really going on.”
Covid-19 seemingly put everything on halt when the virus rapidly spread throughout North America earlier this year. Several states had stay at home ordinances and many schools, gyms, restaurants and any place that congregated mass gatherings were shutdown. Following suit were high school athletics and many students could not finish their regular season sports because of Covid-19.
“It was rough, really rough few months for our company,” said Anthony Garcia, Senior Editor at Prep Hoops. “But I did feel bad for Trent when Covid hit because he had just left Prep Hoops and he was really ecstatic about getting things started with his own business.”
With all sports temporarily postponed in Georgia, Markwith was not able to host any events. But luckily, the connections Trent built working with Prep Hoops kept his business afloat during the hiatus.
“I have a scouting service that coaches subscribe to and I was able to generate revenue through that,” said Markwith. “When I first started the company, I had people help me financially which really was a big help with the corona stuff, so it was really just waiting and trying to find ways to survive.”
The coronavirus took a toll on several recruiting and event companies throughout the Spring and Summer. Even worse was that several high school players did not have the opportunity to perform in front of college coaches because of the cancellation of AAU. But once Georgia allowed basketball to resume, Markwith was on a mission to give high school recruits a second chance.
A Second Chance for Athletes
Markwith was very cautious when organizing his events, only allowing 80 kids between both events to keep things small. He also implemented social distancing and a mask policy at the venues to make sure athletes and spectators were safe.
“I was really just making sure everything was organized and hoping nobody got injured,” said Markwith. “I just had to stay on top of things but overall, nothing went wrong during the events.”
Markwith also got great advice from other recruiting outlets in the metro Atlanta when it came to handling the logistics of running an event. Shun Williams, owner of OnTheRadarHoops, was one of the main individuals guiding Markwith throughout his first events.
“Trent is a real genuine guy that really wants to help make a difference in the lives of these young athletes,” said Shun Williams. “When he reached out to me about helping him put together some events, I immediately jumped on it. He did a lot of things by himself, but I helped him out when it came to marketing and connecting with other scouts to watch the event.”
What’s Next for Relentless Hoops?
The events were livestreamed for college coaches to recruit and several prospects gained interest from schools and seven rising seniors committed to a university because of the event. Now that basketball looks to be in full swing in Georgia, Trent has some big plans for 2021.
“I want to keep expanding my camps,” said Markwith. “Of course, I have the ones in Georgia, but I might try to branch out to Alabama and South Carolina. “I’ve gotten some good feedback people in those states that want a good camp presence. More importantly I want to continue building a reputation as the most professional media outlet/recruiting site in Georgia.”
Markwith’s decision to quit his job and start his own business was risky and there were several roadblocks along the way. But his passion and drive for helping student athletes allowed him to persevere through the obstacles. Because of his will to succeed, several high school recruits now have a chance to get their education paid for and to play basketball at the next level.