HoopQueens’ Keesa K is Empowering Women On and Off the Court


Most popular


Nakissa Koomalsingh (aka Keesa K)


Our seventh annual GLORY 30X30 guide showcases a group of incredible individuals who are redefining the way we do business, championing their communities, and cultivating entirely new industries. From tech pioneers and healthcare heroes to beauty entrepreneurs and media trailblazers, each of this year’s inductees is challenging Canadians to think (and work) differently for a brighter future.


In our series of one-on-one interviews, get to know the honourees a little better: their values, mission, lessons learned, and best advice. 

Hennessy logo

What is your elevator pitch to the world?

Keesa K: My elevator pitch to the world is this: HoopQueens is a movement to empower women in basketball, to create space for us to shine and to challenge the status quo. We are raising the bar for what women can achieve in this game, and we are just getting started.


What excites you most about the work that you are doing?

Keesa K: What excites me most about the work that I am doing is seeing the impact that we are making. When I see young girls look up to me and our players as role models, when I see women step onto the court with confidence and pride, when I see the basketball community recognize and respect what we are doing—that is what keeps me going.


Where do you think you have made the most impact in your industry and/or community?

Keesa K: I think we have made the most impact in our community by creating an avenue for women to showcase their talent and develop in Canada. We are challenging the stereotypes and biases that have held women back in basketball for far too long, and we are creating a space where women can be celebrated for their skills and their passion.

What is one lesson that you hope people will learn or walk away with from your work?

Keesa K: One lesson that I hope people will learn or walk away with from our work is that when women are given the opportunity to compete and succeed, we can achieve amazing things. I want people to see that women belong on the court, in front offices, on the coaching staff and in every aspect of life. When we are given the chance to shine, we can change the world.


What has been your proudest moment as an entrepreneur? 

Keesa K: My proudest moment as an entrepreneur was seeing the first HoopQueens Summer League game take place. It was the culmination of so much hard work and dedication, and it was amazing to see it all come together. Our biggest milestone will be launching year two of Summer League, which starts on June 4. We’re coming back even bigger this year with top-tier fan and player experiences. 


What is a misconception about your work, industry, or community that you hope to dispel?

Keesa K: A misconception about our work that I hope to dispel is that women’s basketball is somehow less exciting or less competitive than men’s basketball. Our players are fierce, talented, and passionate, and they deserve just as much recognition and respect as any other athletes. We’ve proven that we have the talent and fan buy-in to elevate the game right here in Canada.

Why does your work matter?

Keesa K: Our work matters because it is about more than just basketball—it is about challenging the status quo, empowering women, and showcasing homegrown talent. We are creating safe spaces for women to play, giving fans of the game an opportunity to watch high-level basketball and creating opportunities for development in and around the sport. 


What have you learned about yourself as you’ve built your company and raised your voice?

Keesa K: As I’ve built HoopQueens and raised my voice, I have learned that nothing that I can’t do. I have heard so many “no’s” along this journey, and that there isn’t a market for an organization like HoopQueens; yet, here we are, thriving and growing. 


I have also learned that there is so much power in bringing people together around a shared goal and a shared vision.


RELATED: Make Way for Leah MacNab, NBA Canada’s Managing Director


What is a major career goal that you have set your sights on and hope to accomplish in 2023?

Keesa K: This year, my goal is to successfully execute HoopQueens Summer League and to continue growing the league to support athletes at any point along their journey. I want to provide more professional development opportunities for players to get paid opportunities. Looking ahead, my hope is to expand HoopQueens to even more cities and regions, creating even more opportunities for women to excel in basketball across Canada. 


What is the best advice you have for aspiring entrepreneurs based on your own experience?

Keesa K: The best advice I have for aspiring entrepreneurs is to be persistent, to stay true to your vision and your values, and to surround yourself with people who believe in you and your mission. Be adaptable to change, but don’t let a thousand “no’s” deter you from your purpose.


What does GLORY mean to you?

Keesa K: To me, GLORY means achieving something that truly matters—something that makes a difference in the world, that empowers others. It’s not about personal achievements, but about using your talents and resources to uplift and empower others. That’s why HoopQueens is my GLORY.