3x3 is Refreshing for Virginia Commit Carson McCorkle
3x3 has become a key part of Carson McCorkle’s success as a young basketball player.
The 6-foot-3 junior guard from Greensboro, North Carolina, already boasts of a 2018 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championship title, and he represented the USA in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, where he earned a fourth place finish in the Youth Olympic Games Dunk Contest. To top it off, he still has an entire senior season ahead of him.
Yet, for him, making the transition to 3x3 feels different every time.
“3x3 is always new,” McCorkle said. “It’s always kind of refreshing to get back to playing it from playing so much five-on-five regularly. It’s more fun and it’s obviously not the same as five-on-five, so it’s a lot of fun to be able to play competitively.”
Last year was the first time McCorkle had played 3x3 at a high level, but you would never know that based on his accomplishments. The 2019 HSXTRA.com All-Area Private/Charter schools Player of the Year teamed up with Dudley Blackwell (Huntington Prep), Jyáre Davis (Sanford School) and Patrick McCaffrey (University of Iowa) to form Team Quest. The squad finished with an undefeated 8-0 record, the title and the opportunity to play in the Youth Olympic Games.
“Having them as teammates was awesome,” McCorkle said. “The guys that are playing this year are very talented, and I know most of them pretty well. I’m very excited to get on the floor with them and get to play.”
Team Quest was able to carry their momentum into the Youth Olympic Games, which took place October 6-18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They finished 10th overall with a 2-2 record and highlighted their competition with a win over eventual gold medalist Argentina. For McCorkle, the atmosphere and opportunity to play in front of his friends and family was something he will never forget.
“It was unbelievable,” he said. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to represent your country and play in the (Youth) Olympic Games, so being able to do that was something that I had a lot of joy in.”
This weekend, McCorkle will play alongside Dawson Garcia and Ethan Morton on Team Pursuit at the 3x3 U18 Nationals in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the United States Olympic Training Center.
McCorkle’s most recent accomplishment was leading Greensboro Day School to its third straight NCISAA state championship. He averaged 15.9 points per game in the 2018-19 season and guided the Bengals to a 30-5 overall record. They ended their season with 14 straight wins. Originally in the Class of 2021, McCorkle reclassified to 2020 after the 2018-19 season concluded.
“I want to win another state championship,” McCorkle said. “I’ve been fortunate to win one the last two seasons. Hopefully we can win another one next year, I think we have a good chance.”
The future looks bright indeed for the University of Virginia commit, who was able to witness the Cavaliers win the national championship on Monday night.
“Coach Bennett deserves that more than anybody in the world,” McCorkle said. “I was super happy for him and for the team and especially for the school. It just adds another thing to his resume of how good of a coach and person he is.”
And while McCorkle has a lot to look forward to this weekend, there is a lot of newness to experience down the road too.
“It’ll be a lot of fun and excitement going to Virginia coming off winning the national championship," he said. “I’m looking forward to being able to kind of get out of where I’ve been living most of my life and be able to do something new.”
USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championships
The 2019 USA 3x3 U18 Nationals will be held April 13-14 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, and will feature 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams competing for their respective 3x3 U18 national titles. In addition to the lure of a national championship, the event also will serve as the 2019 USA Basketball Men’s and Women’s 3x3 U18 National Team trials, and all competing athletes will be in consideration for the selection to the men’s and women’s 2019 USA 3x3 U18 World Cup Teams.