by Tanner Simkins @TannerSimkins
The Outdoor Event Tips Off August 17th at Great Mall in Silicon Valley (Milpitas, CA);
8-Team Tournament to Feature “Super Teams” from Around the World Competing for $50,000
San Jose, Calif., July 26, 2018 – 3BALL USA, a well-established team organizer in Olympic rules 3×3 basketball, today announced the launch of its first-ever post-collegiate 3×3 tournament taking place August 17 to 19 at SIMON®’s Great Mall located in Milpitas, California (Silicon Valley). 3×3 is the uniquely fast-paced version of “3-on-3” basketball that the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) introduced in 2007 and that recently became a new Olympic sport to be featured at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. 3BALL USA, a Bay Area-based organization whose mission is to help grow the 3×3 basketball movement in the U.S. through experiential events in high-traffic locations, will tip off with an outdoor showcase in anticipation of a formal summer league that will begin play in 2019. The 3BALL management and advisory team includes sports industry executives George Raveling, Spencer Haywood, Andy Dolich, Stan Morrison, Bill Duffy, Matt Levine, Phil Evans, and Gary Hunter.
The public is welcome to the event, which will feature 8 elite men’s 3×3 teams competing in 21 games, a high-flying slam dunk contest, a one-on-one challenge featuring streetball icon The Professor, interactive selfie walls, music, food trucks, and a virtual reality activation from YBVR. Tickets go on sale today and can be purchased at www.3ballusa.com and EventBrite.com. For each night of the tournament (minimum of 6 games per night), the ticket price is $25 for adults, and children 12 and under will get in free. Pool play begins on Friday at 7:00pm PST and on Saturday at 6:00pm PST, and the Playoffs begin on Sunday at 5:00pm PST. The entire event will be live streamed on Twitch, the leading digital platform in the U.S. for live video, and Sina Sports, the #1 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.
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 3BALL champions will win a $50,000 cash prize, and 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. An elite field of teams from around the world will be announced over the next week to ten days.
3BALL USA, which has had at least one team in the USA Basketball 3×3 National Championships each of the past three years, was established in 2016 when founder and chief executive officer Michael Wranovics discovered FIBA 3×3 and recognized a growing opportunity for aspiring post-collegiate basketball players and a new pathway to the Olympics. Soon after, he recruited four free agent players (DeAndre Liggins, Alfonzo McKinnie, Myke Henry, and Stefhon Hannah) to form a 3×3 super team: 3BALL Premier. The four Chicagoans, three of whom have since played in the NBA, won their first 28 games in 3×3 competition, including a gold medal at the 2016 USA Basketball 3×3 National Championships. They went on to take the silver medal at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup in Guangzhou, China later that summer. This initial success helped Wranovics, a sports event and media entrepreneur, to attract renowned Bay Area businessman and former sports team owner Tad Taube to partner in developing the nation’s first professional 3×3 summer league.
“The global popularity of basketball has never been stronger, and FIBA’s innovative 3×3 game is helping to engage new players and younger fans around the world,” said Wranovics. “Capitalizing on the growing excitement around this faster-paced version of the sport, our goal with 3BALL USA is to introduce a professional model that offers a new generation of U.S. athletes the opportunity to compete for a gold medal in Tokyo and beyond.”
“We are excited about the first-ever 3BALL tournament at Great Mall,” said Lynne Rice, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Great Mall. “Simon is constantly innovating to elevate the consumer experience and introducing new offerings to our shoppers, so having 3BALL USA put on its event at our shopping center seems like a natural fit.”
3BALL USA will launch its 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.