Startup Spotlight: Grind 2 Shine

Startup Spotlight: Grind 2 Shine

With a business background and deep-seeded love for basketball, Boris Boundjia is building Grind 2 Shine from the ground up.

Starting  your own business and learning to play the game of basketball truly aren’t all that different. I know, it sounds crazy, but stick with me here.

In both basketball and business: it’s imperative that you start with the basics, learn from the best mentor(s) you can find, and consistently pound away at your mental and physical game. If you stick with the regimen long enough, and surround yourself with like-minded people (wink-wink buddyTruk team), you’ll find success

This brings us to Boris Boundjia, founder of Grind 2 Shine, a Simi Valley, California based youth basketball academy. Boundjia, or better known as “Coach Bo” by his students, is a recent graduate from Salem International University in West Virginia where he played Division II basketball.

Combining his degree in business administration, a deep-seeded love of basketball, and just the right blend of mentors and drive, Coach Bo is putting Grind 2 Shine on the basketball map.

Coach Bo spoke to us about his drive, his business goals, and the growing pains of operating a startup.

What is the overall goal of Grind 2 Shine?

Coach Bo: The main goal of Grind 2 Shine is to be a premier basketball destination for players across LA and Ventura County, for boys and girls of all ages and skill levels. I want to help kids reach their dreams and have a positive influence on their lives – using basketball as a vehicle to help them become better people. There have been so many people who helped me in this way, and offered guidance to me throughout my basketball career and I want to pay it forward.

Grind 2 Shine is based out of Simi Valley, CA, but we have players from throughout Ventura County. We hold 4 training sessions each week, so anyone who loves basketball and is interested in improving their game and show up and get a workout in. For anyone who is interested, there is more detailed information available at .

What was your motivation to startup Grind 2 Shine?

Coach Bo: I was playing basketball at Salem International University in West Virginia, when I happened to meet Coach Pete Strobl of The Scoring Factory and he really changed my life. I was already a college basketball player, but extensive training with Coach Pete molded me into a “true player”. I already understood the game, but he made me realize the importance of every single minute detail, from placing your foot at an exactly 90 degree angle (not 85, not 95), to the placement of each fingertip when you shoot the ball. He really transformed the way I see basketball.

He also taught me what it means to be a leader and a trainer. He would always joke that one day when my basketball career was over, I would work for him. At the time, that was the last thing I wanted to do, but even then, he saw in me a natural tendency to encourage, coach and teach my fellow players to try and get the best out of them.  Since the day I started training my first player, there’s nothing else I could see myself doing.

What are your experiences in the starting up a brand new camp? Best experiences? Worst experiences?

Coach Bo: I started in May 2013 and it has been a great experience so far. The first few months were the most difficult in terms of getting my name out in the community and building interest.  But it feeds on itself. When the players I train are obviously improving and passing up some of their teammates, it is hard to ignore and others start to show interest and come work out.

Why would you recommend Grind 2 Shine over another basketball camp?

Coach Bo: First, every single workout session is different and every single workout incorporates something that I know these players have never done before in their lives. It is always new, always innovative and thus, they are always learning and pushing themselves.

Second, these workouts not only emphasize the physical aspects of the game, but they challenge the mental abilities as well—which I think are just as important. I challenge them to play and act with confidence, to speak up and get out of their comfort zones, and to push each other to keep going.

The workouts can get really intense, but they never leave a player behind and help each other to the end. In fact, a lot of new players have thrown up after they tried a workout—they’re really hard! But they always come back for more because they know they are getting better. These same kids are now the best players on their respective teams.

My company message is simple: you grind now, you shine later. Give everything you’ve got today, so you have no regrets tomorrow. We are all about working hard, putting in the sweat and effort and doing whatever it takes to achieve your dreams.

What does the future hold for Grind 2 Shine?

Coach Bo: We’ll always continue to hold several weekly training sessions. In the future, we look forward to organizing summer camps, basketball tournaments and eventually a basketball league.

What would you recommend to anyone else interested in starting up their own business?

Coach Bo: If you are passionate for what you do, and you believe in your idea and what you are trying to accomplish, then stick with it, no matter what happens. Be patient with yourself, do your absolute best in everything you do and at the end of the day, there is nothing more you can ask of yourself. That’s what I try to teach my players and that is also how I try to live my own life.

For more information on Grind 2 Shine, head over to