As part of their multi-year partnership and previously announced commitment to player development and community engagement, BIG3 and adidas have announced the launch of Young3, a 3-on-3 youth basketball initiative.
Throughout the season Young3 will host 3-on-3 tournaments and skills clinics for children ages 7-14 in all 10 BIG3 city stops on Thursdays, ahead of the league's Friday night primetime games. In each city, they will also invest time and money into improving the infrastructure of community courts so players are able to have the ultimate 3-on-3 experience. This new community outreach program will work to engage young audiences in the growing popularity of 3-on-3 basketball, which was added as an official event at the 2020 Olympic Games.
"As a league, we couldn't be more excited to share our passion for the sport of 3-on-3 with the young people in each community we visit," said BIG3 Commissioner Clyde Drexler. "Our hope is that through Young3 we will instill that same enthusiasm for the game, and hopefully cultivate the next generation of BIG3 all-stars or Olympic medalists."
Former NBA legend Jerome 'Junk Yard Dog' Williams, who participated in the BIG3's inaugural season as a member of Power, will serve as the President of Young3 and will oversee all program operations. Williams, who also serves as a BIG3 Board Member brings an extensive resume in community service to this new role, most recently being nominated to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for his leadership off the court.
"Through my work in the community, I've witnessed firsthand the benefits of engaging young people in the sport of basketball. Lessons learned on the court have real-life, everyday applications - from building self-confidence, to being a good teammate, not to mention the importance of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle," said Williams. "I'm proud to work with the BIG3 and adidas to bring this important initiative to life, and to give back to all of the communities we will be visiting throughout the season."
Since retiring from the NBA, Williams has continued to show his dedication to the community through various initiatives. In 2009 he established The JYD Project, a youth development organization that assists students in becoming positive and productive adults through educational-based programs. As part of this program Williams created "Shooting For Peace Camp," a basketball camp led by current and retired NBA players. Williams is also a Global Ambassador for the NBA and works with NBA Fit as a youth ambassador and motivational speaker for the NBA's Basketball Without Borders program. Now as the President of Young3, Williams will oversee the league's community outreach and will use the sport of 3-on-3 basketball to enrich the lives of young people throughout the country.
Young3 tournaments will feature four age groups: 9U, 11U, 12U & 14U, and teams will comprise five players each. All games will follow BIG3 rules, except that games will be played to 30 points with a 20 minute time limit. Standard 2 and 3 point shots apply, as well as the BIG3's 4 point shot. The winners of each age group will be invited to attend the BIG3 games the following night, and will receive a special in-game recognition.
Young3 clinics are open to children ages 7-14 and will teach participants three-on-three skills as well as tips and tricks from BIG3 players and coaches who will make special appearances throughout the summer.
Registration for Young3 clinics is free but required to attend, and registration for the Young3 tournament will be $25 per team. All participants will receive a BIG3 and adidas branded jersey. For more information on Young3 and to register for a tournament or skills clinic, please visit: www.young3.org.
BIG3's 10-week season tips off in Houston, TX on June 22 and makes its way to Chicago, Oakland, Detroit, Miami, Toronto, Dallas, Boston, Atlanta, and Brooklyn. All stops will feature four back-to-back games on Friday evenings and will be broadcast live on FS1 or Fox this season. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased at BIG3.com.
2018 BIG3 SEASON SCHEDULE
WEEK 1 | June 22: Toyota Center | Houston, Texas
WEEK 2 | June 29: United Center | Chicago, Illinois
WEEK 3 | July 6: Oracle Arena | Oakland, California
WEEK 4 | July 13: Little Caesars Arena | Detroit, Michigan
WEEK 5 | July 20: American Airlines Arena | Miami, Florida
WEEK 6 | July 27: Air Canada Centre | Toronto, Ontario
WEEK 7 | August 3: TD Garden | Boston, Massachusetts
WEEK 8 | August 10: Infinite Energy Arena | Atlanta, Georgia
WEEK 9 | August 17: American Airlines Center | Dallas, Texas *Playoffs*
WEEK 10 | August 24: Barclays Center | Brooklyn, New York *Championship Finals*
ABOUT BIG3: BIG3 (www.BIG3.com) is where basketball superstars play. The premier half-court, 3-on-3 basketball league, BIG3 features many of the greatest, most popular and skilled NBA players of all time. Founded by producer, actor and music legend Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, the BIG3 combines highly competitive, physical, fast basketball and incredible fan experiences. Comprised of eight teams, the league played to huge arena crowds in ten different US cities throughout the 2017 inaugural season.
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