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Play ball! Mill Basinite creates app for pickup games

Score!: Kevin Sebili from Mill Basin created an app, Flakex, to organize pickup games.
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Wanna play some ball? There’s an app for that!

A Mill Basinite invented an app for starting pickup games after his friends routinely ditched him and he was left with no one to shoot hoops with or throw around a football. The 22-year-old dreamed up his recently launched smartphone application — and called it Flakex, after his flakey friends, said inventor Kevin Sebili.

“I got the idea because usually when I play pickup games, football, soccer, I would be the one who had to organize, because my friends are pretty lazy,” said Sebili, who can often be found at the basketball courts in Marine Park or the soccer fields in Dumbo. “And then all of a sudden, at the end of the day, four people show up — out of the 20 that said they were playing.”

The 2016 Brooklyn College grad used his graphic design skills to create the user-friendly interface for the app, which offers 15 different sports to choose from, including football, volleyball, cricket, and tennis. And to go along with the theme, every user gets a “flake” rating, which shows how many games you said you would go to verses how many you actually showed up for and played, said Sebili.

“To be fair, I added how many games you played and how many you showed up and to and that’s how you get your flake percentage,” he said. “The higher the percentage, the more flakey you are.”

“There are a few different ways to schedule or connect with a game. Users can filter for games nearby any address, selecting “Around me” and see different options, or users can host a game and set a date, time, and location and let players in the app community know based on a mileage radius they set— called the flakex radar, or invite specific friends directly. And the host has full control over who they send the game invitations too, said Sebili.

The app is still in its early stages — it launched on March 1 for Android and on April 1 for the iPhone — and has just 95 users signed up so far, but Sebili hopes it goes mainstream soon, after a few more tweaks and updates, he said.

But even if Flakex isn’t the next Tinder or Uber, it’s still a good way to meet up with new or old friends, and get people exercising in the fresh air, he said.

“Even if it’s not successful, it’s a platform to get back in touch with old friends who I used to play football with,” said Sebili. “I tried to make it as easy as possible and user friendly, so anyone can get involved and get out there and play and just to get more people outside — instead of staying inside and staying online and what not.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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