The International Olympic Committee recently rocked the basketball world by announcing that three-on-three basketball for men and women will be added to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The IOC has not yet solidified the rules for the tournament, however it looks like there will be 10-minute matches with a 12-second shot clock, and games will be played on a half-court. There will be no halftime, no quarters, and no timeouts. If you are used to traditional five-on-five basketball, it’s a totally different ball game.
This past weekend, Mountain Dew and the NBA hosted the third stop of DEW NBA 3X. This event gave us a preview of what three-on-three Olympic play might look like. This nationwide, elite three-on-three basketball competition took place in Brooklyn at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Top men’s and women’s teams, which included some of FIBA’s top 100 globally ranked players, competed as part of a six-city tour to qualify for the 2018 USA Basketball 3x3 National Tournament.
Twenty-four men’s and eight women’s teams competed over two days. Each team consisted of four players (three on the court and one substitute). The first team to score 21 points won. Each team got one 30-second time out during the 10-minute game. These games moved fast, and the competition was intense.
Beyond great basketball, the two-day event had something for everyone, including the opportunity for fans to interact with basketball icons like Kenny (The Jet) Smith, Baron Davis, and Brandon (B-Dot) Armstrong. Fans could also test their skills in three-point and knockout competitions, listen to music from hometown artists and DJs, and get a taste of Brooklyn with local food trucks. And there was an intense NBA 2K competition for those who wanted to test their video game skills.
Ariel Investments won the women’s championship. Captain Laura Johnson, co-captain Annie Tarakchain, and teammate Blake Dietrick all played college basketball at Princeton, while teammate Nicole Zimmer got her college experience at Dartmouth.
On the men’s side, NYC Underdogs took home the title. All four team members hailed from the New York area, but they earned their college experience across the country. Captain Edis Dervisevic attended Long Beach State, co-captain Michael Liander played at Queens College, and teammates Steven Ruple Jr. and Marcel Esonwune were at Southeastern Iowa and York College respectively. Both teams will move on to the championship in Los Angeles.
If you missed this stop, you still have a chance to catch Dew NBA 3X in Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Photographs by (from top): Steven Freeman/NBAE; Michelle Farsi/NBAE