Familiar Stars Among New Faces at Red Bull 3X Charlotte & Chicago Local Qualifiers
Red Bull 3X action returned with a major weekend as 42 men’s and women’s teams battled in events in Chicago and Charlotte for a chance to earn FIBA points on the path to 3x3 greatness. While the sport of 3x3 basketball makes its debut in just a few days on the grandest global stage of all, these U.S. qualifiers offer players a chance to be evaluated for further international competition.
In Charlotte, members of the Duke women’s basketball team won their second consecutive Red Bull 3X qualifier after taking the title at the season opening event in Raleigh last weekend. They faced stiffer competition this time, winning by a 21-16 margin in the finals against Hoop Atlanta. Duke guard Miela Goodchild spoke on getting the repeat win in North Carolina. “I think we’re all pretty pumped. We came to win. It’s always a great feeling.”
In Chicago, local product and former WNBA player Linnae Harper got the chance to play in front of those she’s known her whole life. Harper began her WNBA career playing for the Chicago Sky in 2018. She led Force 10 Seattle to the crown and was joined by teammates Alexis Peterson (Syracuse), Breanna Richardson (Mississippi State) and Hayley Peters (Duke). They battled against Rain City Force 10, and in the end, it was Force 10 Seattle coming out on top, 16 -11.
“I’ve been so blessed to travel the world, but there’s nothing like coming back home to play the sport I love,” Harper said. “We were such a cohesive group today, but our semifinal game would probably be my favorite. We were on fire.”
Harper has a long history with the game of 3x3. She most recently won the Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals with Force 10 on June 12 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, alongside teammate Peterson. Harper also played in the 2016 FIBA 3x3 World Cup in China, where she helped the USA secure a bronze medal.
The men’s side in Chicago saw former Purdue star Robbie Hummel take Team Princeton to a finals run alongside Kareem Maddox (Princeton), Craig Moore (Northwestern University) and Sean Omara (Xavier), where they faced off against members of the defending 3X National champions from Team Omaha, featuring Dylan Travis (Florida Southern College), Steffon Bradford (University of Nebraska - Lincoln), Trey Bardsley (Nebraska Wesleyan University) and Klaye Rowe (Bellevue University). The teams played even throughout the game, but it was Team Princeton that ultimately came out on top with the win,18 -13.
“This was my first time playing with Sean. It’s been awesome having him on our team today,” Hummel said. “Kareem was phenomenal in the final, played really aggressive, and Craig made some timely 2s throughout. Overall, just really great chemistry for us on the court to help us come out on top.”
Hummel, who just returned from Paris with Team Princeton, has participated in numerous 3x3 events. He won gold at the 2019 FIBA 3x3 World Cup and was named 2019’s USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year. Catch him on ESPN and the Big Ten Network as a studio analyst and color commentator.
On the men’s side in Charlotte, Queen City took home the crown on their home turf. The crew consisted of several former North Carolina D1 athletes, including Curt Withers of UNC Charlotte and NC State teammates Torin Dorn and CJ Bryce. This was their first time playing together as a team, and they clicked on all cylinders. The finals saw Queen City defeat Team LA in a nail biter. Tied at 13 with 20 seconds left, the game was decided on free throws by Queen City, followed by a missed buzzer-beating attempt by Team LA, leaving the final score 15-13 for the hometown heroes.
Torin was happy to pull out the win and enjoyed the style of play. “Any chance you get to represent your city and play the game you love is always a blessing, so it feels really good. It’s our first time playing under FIBA 3x3 rules, and that was a different experience, but it was fun. With 3x3 becoming an Olympic sport, the sky is the limit.”
3x3 is played on a half court with a 10-minute game clock and 12-second shot clock. The winner is the first team to score 21 points or the team in the lead at the end of regulation. The bursts of action and short games leave little room for error, and teams that catch fire become hard to handle with the court space 3x3 allows players.
With the Charlotte and Chicago Red Bull 3X qualifiers down, the search continues to help identify players who could potentially represent USA Basketball’s 3x3 Men’s and Women’s National Teams in the future. The winning teams at all this season’s qualifiers advance to the Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Regionals in the fall, and potentially to the Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals, which will help determine the talent pool used to select the USA Basketball 3x3 Men’s and Women’s National Teams.
RED BULL 3X (Charlotte)
MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET
- Queen City – Torin Dorn, CJ Bryce, Curt Withers, ZaQwaun Matthews
- Team LA – Will Ferris, Jordan Hamilton, Cole Micek, Donavan Mitchell
WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET
- Team Duke – Vanessa DeJesus, Miela Goodchild, Lee Volker, Nyah Green
- Hoop Atlanta – Keira Robinson, Abrea Harris, Kira Gordon, Doniyah Cliney
RED BULL 3X (Chicago)
MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET
- Team Princeton – Robbie Hummel, Kareem Maddox, Craig Moore, Sean Omara
- Team Omaha – Dylan Travis, Steffon Bradford, Trey Bardsley, Klaye Rowe
WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET
- Force 10 Seattle – Alexis Peterson, Linnae Harper, Breanna Richardson, Haley Peters
- Force 10 Rain City – Keyona Hayes, Chanise Jenkins, Japreece Dean, Camille Zimmerman
For more information, please visit www.redbull.com/3X.