Force 10 and 3BALL Omaha Claim Crowns at Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals
- 2021 Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals Results: Men // Women
- 2021 Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals Rosters: Men // Women
New champions were crowned Sunday at the 2021 Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals as Force 10 won the women’s division championship and 3BALL Omaha captured the men’s title. Contested since 2012, the 2021 Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals were held June 12-13 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Force 10 forward Cierra Burdick scored seven points in the title game and was named MVP of the women’s nationals, while 3BALL Omaha guard Trey Bardsley hit the game-winner in the men’s championship and was named the men’s MVP.
While the tournament was not played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 marked the ninth edition of the 3x3 national championships, the second edition of Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals and the second time the event has been held outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
A new season of Red Bull 3X will kick off July 10 in partnership with USA Basketball. Twenty men’s and women’s qualifier tournaments around the country, plus four regional championship events, will help identify a new pipeline of 3x3 talent who have a goal of competing in the Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals. Interested players can head to www.redbull.com/3X for more information and to register.
FORCE 10 BOUNCES BACK FROM OPENING LOSS TO TAKE WOMEN’S RED BULL USA BAKSETBALL 3X NATIONAL TITLE
Facing Maryland (2-4) in the finals of the 2021 Red Bull USA Basketball 3X National, Force 10 took control in the final five minutes to capture a 16-10 win and earn the women’s 3X national championship.
Former University of Tennessee standout Burdick scored four of Force 10’s final eight points to help hold off a determined Maryland Team. Trailing 10-9, Force 10 outscored Maryland 7-0 in the game’s final 3:22 to earn the win.
“Man it was tough,” said Burdick. “Every day was so hard, every game was so hard and it feels good. You know you want it to be difficult, because if it’s not difficult it’s not as rewarding. Maryland played really tough, and they’re a physical team. They get amped up and hyped up, and I think that got us hyped up. It was an exciting final. I hope everybody enjoyed it."
Asked about the key to winning the title, Burdick responded: “Just staying composed, staying composed through the runs, staying composed through all their hype and their emotions. We could have easily folded when they started talking trash and when they started letting their emotions get the best of them. We could have played the same game and lost our cool, but I think we just stayed composed through the runs. We stuck to what we knew. We continued to execute offensively and play tough D, and we were able to come out on top.”
Maryland, who went 0-3 Saturday in its three preliminary round games and lost those games by a total of five points, found its stride Sunday.
Sunday opened with the women’s quarterfinals and Group B’s No. 4 seed Maryland surprising Group A No. 1 seed Legacy (3-1) 10-9 in a defensive battle. Behind the scoring punch of 5-foot-9 guard Te-Hina PaoPao,Oregon ended NC State’s (1-3) title chase and kept its quest for a third-straight title alive. Louisville beat Midwest Money Makers (0-4) 19-12 to earn a shot at Force 10, and Force 10 used a 6-0 run midway through a tight game to roll past Kansas State 19-15 in the final quarterfinals clash.
Meeting two-time defending champs Oregon (3-2) in the semifinals, Maryland’s defense slowed the Ducks and led to a 19-14 win that earned the Terps a trip to the finals.
Force 10 used a 6-0 scoring run early into its semifinal game to take control, and although Louisville (3-2) battled to stay within striking range, Force 10 prevailed for a 17-13 victory and a spot in the title game.
3BALL OMAHA CROWNED MEN’S 3X NATIONAL CHAMPION AFTER A THRILLING TILTE GAME WIN
In a championship game that see-sawed back-and-forth and featured major offensive runs by both teams, 3BALL Omaha won the title after Bardsley watched his floater in the lane bounce around the rim several times before finally falling through to give Omaha a thrilling 21-20 victory over Harlem (5-1).
“We were getting up for (3X) nationals two falls ago and expecting it last summer and it didn’t happen, and so we had a long time off because of COVID and finally started to get back into things a couple of months ago and gearing up for this,” said Bardsley of his team path to the 3X Nationals. “We did a lot of scrimmaging, and we had a really good 3BALL select team that is also out of Omaha, so we were able to grind against them every practice. All those game-like practices really paid off for us.”
3BALL Omaha led in the title game 15-10, but Harlem, behind Dominique “Disco Domo” Jones, stormed back to tie the game at 17 with 3:25 remaining. Omaha again pulled ahead 19-17, but Jones hit a 2-pointer to tie it, and Antoinne Morgano added a basket to push Harlem ahead 20-19. Omaha guard Dylan Travis tied the score 20-20, setting the stage for the dramatic finish.
“Domo drove on me, and I thought he got a pretty good look at it, and my heart kind of dropped when he got it up. I saw he missed it, and Steph (Bradford) got a great rebound for us, and I just knew I was flying out to wing and Steph got it to me. It was a hard close out, and I was able to drive middle and my thought process was I didn’t want to get too close to the hoop, I just wanted a clean look at the shot so I put up the floater and got a lucky roll to go in,” said Bardsley of his game-winner. “It was bouncing, after about the third bounce I finally could tell it looked like it was bouncing in, and that was a great feeling to get it to go.
“This means everything to us. We worked so hard. I think a lot of these guys are the unsung heroes, like our two big men Steph and Klaye (Rowe). They are setting a lot of screens, getting a lot of rebounds, they do all the stuff you don’t notice, and then Dylan kind of controls the game for us. A lot of the shots I make are because he can get me the ball. All these guys are looking for me to get open shots or drive. Our chemistry is really good, and I think that’s the difference - our offensive game when we flow really well, we’re pretty tough to guard.”
Harlem opened Sunday’s men’s quarterfinals with a come-from-behind 21-17 decision over 3BALL Minnesota (2-2) in a game sealed by Michael Polle’s 2-point shot with 13 seconds remaining. 3BALL Chicago's Eugene German was a one-man wrecking ball against NY Select (3-1), scoring 19 of his team’s 21 points in a 21-15 victory. 3BALL Olympic Club finished its quarterfinals game strong to capture a 21-14 win against Team Los Angeles (1-3), and Princeton, down to three men because of an injury to Damon Huffman, raced out to a 17-12 lead but fatigued. 3BALL Omaha, behind the 2-point shooting of Travis and Bardsley, closed out strong to take the 22-17 victory with 2:42 left on the clock.
In the semifinals, 3x3 international veteran and USA National Team member Jones scored nine points, and Morgano ended the game with a free throw with 1:46 showing on the clock as Harlem edged 3BALL Chicago (4-1) 21-18 to earn a trip to the championship game. 3BALL Omaha also came up big down the stretch and riding a 2-pointer from Badrsley with 43 seconds left on the clock, punched its ticket to the title game with a 21-18 victory over 3BALL Olympic Club (2-3).