SAN JOSE – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – Today begins the inaugural event for 3BALL USA. The new 3×3 league announced plans to develop the nation’s first professional 3×3 in the US and announced its initial 10-team field for a tipoff tournament to be staged August 17 to 19 at SIMON’s Great Mall in Milpitas, California in Silicon Valley, near San Jose.
The field will include the No. 1 team in the world, Novi Sad Serbia, the No. 1 U.S. team, All America, and the defending champions of the biggest 3×3 tournament in Asia, Sina China, as well as a host of other rising players all looking to win the $50,000 cash prize and take a next step towards the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where the sport will make its Olympic debut.
This tournament will be host the most talented and deepest field ever for 3×3 basketball in the United States.
The tournament’s two finalists will both automatically qualify for a FIBA 3×3 Challenger event in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada). The top-finishing American team will earn automatic qualifications for the 2018 Sina Sports 3×3 Elite League in Beijing, China and the 2019 USA Basketball 3×3 National Championships at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“We are elated to have such a strong international field in our first event, with some of the most exciting and talented 3×3 players on the planet coming to the Bay Area,” said 3BALL USA founder and CEO Michael Wranovics. “Many of the players we’ll see in this tournament are likely to be on the world stage when 3×3 makes its Olympic debut in 2020, and having them together to compete on the same court is a strong testament to what we’re creating with 3BALL.”
“For the last few years, FIBA has been pushing for the professionalization of 3×3 with more events and more prize money for players at the FIBA 3×3 World Tour and on the professional circuit in general,” said Alex Sanchez, Managing Director, FIBA 3×3. “The creation of an ambitious professional 3×3 league in the U.S. meets our ambition to have talented professional 3×3 players at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. As was the case in Australia, India, Japan, and Puerto Rico, we wish 3BALL USA to be another successful 3×3 professional league.”
“3×3 is basketball’s new frontier – a bastion of learning and individual skill development,” said George Raveling, Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and FIBA 3×3 Advisor. “One of the game’s most fascinating features is its fierce promotion of individual freedom and decision-making. I am deeply honored to be in attendance at the inaugural 3BALL showcase. This is a must-attend event!”
The team highlights include:
Novi Sad Serbia is the #1 team in the world and has won four gold medals and one silver. Their leader, Dusan Bulut, is considered the best 3×3 player in the world. This will be the team’s first ever competition in the U.S.
Sina China is the defending champion of the Sina Sports 3×3 Golden League, the biggest and most competitive 3×3 tournament in Asia. Players Yatong Guo, Yucheng Ji, Yu Liang, and Long Ma will arrive in the Bay Area a few days before the 3BALL tournament to tour various basketball courts from Oakland to San Jose looking for pickup games with locals.
All America, the #1 3×3 team in the U.S., won the USA Basketball 3×3 National Championships in both 2018 and 2017. The team is led by two former Princeton University standouts, sharp-shooting guard Dan Mavraides and powerful big man, Kareem Maddox.
The Chompin’ Chihuahuas are led by 3×3 World Cup silver medalist and former NBA G League Defensive Player of the Year Stefhon Hannah (Missouri), former University of Michigan star Zak Irvin, and Rodney Pryor, former Georgetown star and 2017 NCAA Dunk Champion.
Two members of the Golden Gate Retrievers, Joe Harden and Ari Warmerdam, played for the 3BALL Olympic Club team that won the San Francisco regional of the 2017 Dew NBA 3X tour. Harden, who averaged 15.0 points per game during his senior year at UC Davis while studying viticulture, is a winemaker at Robert Mondavi Winery. The team also features Grant Mullins, who shot 43% from 3-point range for Cal last year.
The Dunkin‘ Dobermans are led by Filipino-American point guard Mikey Williams and three explosive NBA G League players Michael Bryson (Iowa Wolves), Will Davis (Windy City Bulls), and Stephan Hicks (Fort Wayne Mad Ants).
The Hungry Huskies are led by Paris Kyles, one of the most unstoppable scorers in the 3×3 game, and former Minnesota Gopher Joey King. The foursome out of Minneapolis finished in 2nd place at the 2018 USA Basketball 3×3 National Championships.
The Leaping Labradors are made up of a foursome from the East Bay, including Davion Berry (Weber State) who started for the NBA G League’s Raptors 905 last year, Langston Morris-Walker (Oregon State), and Juan Toscano Anderson(Marquette) who played for Mexico’s national team (5v5) in the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The Magnificent Mutts will feature three Princeton grads, including 2017 Ivy League Player of the Year Spencer Weisz, do-everything guard Steven Cook, and Henry Caruso, who finished his career at Santa Clara as a graduate transfer during the 2017-18 season. The Mutts also have former Saint Mary’s Gael, Calvin Hermanson, one of the best 3-point shooters in the country.
The New Yorkies, aka “Team Harlem,” is led by former Harlem Globetrotter Dominique “Domo Disco” Jones and “Super Dave” Seagers. They are perennially one of the strongest 3×3 teams in the U.S. and have competed in several FIBA 3×3 World Tour competitions.
The 3-day live event will feature 18 games, a high-flying slam dunk contest, a one-on-one challenge featuring streetball icon The Professor, interactive selfie walls, music, food trucks, a beer garden, and stunt dog shows. Pool play begins on Friday at 7:00pm PDT and on Saturday at 3:00pm ET/6:00pm local PDT, and the Playoffs begin on Sunday at 2:00pm ET/5:00pm local PDT.
The FIBA-endorsed tournament will adhere to the official FIBA 3×3 game rules that will be used during the 2020 Olympics. The eight teams featured in the competition will be seeded based on pool play results and face off in a single elimination playoff round on Sunday.
The entire event will be live streamed on Twitch, the #1 digital platform in the U.S. for live video. All of the games will also be distributed by Sina Sports, the leading digital sports platform in China. Additionally, NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Chicago, and NBC Sports Washington, will broadcast the 3BALL USA Championship Game, which will close the event on Sunday.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at www.3ballusa.com and EventBrite.com. For each night of the tournament (minimum of 5 games per night), the ticket price is $25 for adults, and children 12 and under will get in free.
3BALL USA will launch a formal 3×3 league in summer 2019, consisting of weekly three-day tournaments in a variety of high-traffic locations. Additional details will be announced in the coming months.
3BALL USA is a newly-established team and event organizer for FIBA 3×3 basketball that has been represented by at least one team at the USA Basketball 3×3 National Championships for the past three years and in several FIBA 3×3 tournaments around the world. 3BALL’s mission is to help grow the global 3×3 basketball movement through experiential events staged in high-traffic locations. 3BALL first got involved with 3×3 in 2016 when it carefully selected and trained a 4-man team of highly versatile ex-college players from Chicago that went on to win the USA Basketball National Championships later that year. Three members of that team were selected by USA Basketball to play for the USA 3×3 National Team at the 2016 FIBA 3×3 World Cup in Guangzhou, China, where they earned the silver medal – the only medal that the USA has ever earned in Men’s FIBA 3×3 basketball competition to date.
Led by a management and advisory team with over 300 years of combined experience in professional and collegiate sports, 3BALL is staging a showcase tournament later this summer as a preview to a post-collegiate 3×3 summer league that will launch in summer 2019. The 3BALL management and advisory team includes sports industry executives George Raveling, Spencer Haywood, Andy Dolich, Matt Levine, Stan Morrison, Bill Duffy, Terry Lyons, Phil Evans, and Gary Hunter.
For more information, visit www.3ballusa.com