Red Bull 3X Doubleheader Rolls Through Orlando & San Antonio
While USA Basketball Men’s and Women’s National Teams clinched crowns in Tokyo, 3x3 players continued to earn FIBA points on their own path to greatness at Red Bull 3X local qualifiers in Orlando and San Antonio.
In San Antonio, familiar faces rose to the top, as the reigning Red Bull USA Basketball 3X National Men’s Champions, 3BALL Omaha, took out Team LA 3X3 by a score of 21-12. 3BALL Omaha also took the Raleigh 3X qualifier earlier this season. With less than two minutes to play, 3BALL Omaha pulled away by four points and held that lead till the end, showcasing their experience and chemistry. They’ve been playing together as a team for a few years and know the intricacies of 3x3.
“We play together a lot – I think that’s what gives us our edge,” said Trey Bardsley, who was MVP at the 2021 3X Nationals. “Some of the guys out here are a bit new to the sport and haven’t been moving around the court with one another as much as we have.”
While they are thrilled with their second qualifier title, they aren’t taking that for granted or slowing down any time soon. “Moving forward, we definitely want to work on getting sharper, strengthen our conditioning and play better defense,” said Dylan Travis.
In the women’s division, Team Chicago, part of the dominant Force 10 3x3 program that has been racking up wins across the Red Bull 3X season, beat out fellow Force 10 3x3 team Windy City in the first tournament to take place this year in the Lone Star State. With one minute left on the clock, Chicago’s N’dea Jones, a former Texas A&M Aggie player, hit a 2-point shot to take the lead. Windy City tied it up at 12-12, but with five seconds left and the clock ticking down, Chicago hit the game-winner to clinch the game.
In Orlando’s women’s division, Money Team dominated all day, never losing a game. Matching up in the final against the South Side Ballerz, they were up on the board first and took a commanding lead early on. Captained by former WNBA player and 2012 USA U18 gold medalist Alexis Prince, the team was strong defensively and had an answer for every shot from South Side, taking the first ever Red Bull 3X qualifier in Orlando by a score of 14-9.
“It was a great experience. I love the referees, the close setting, the fans. I love that we are able to bring the girls game back to life and we get to show our 1-on-1 skills. You don’t really get to do that on a full court. So that makes it really fun. Just excited to play with some old teammates from college and just get back out here and grind,” said former University of Maryland player and overseas pro Ieshia Small.
The Orlando men’s final saw local team, Aces, up against No Name Nashville. The Aces had been undefeated all day and looked to be a favorite in the championship, but it was No Name Nashville who scored early and kept a consistent five point lead for most of the game.
“We lost a game early to a team that we should have beat, and that kind of sparked the fire underneath us to propel us forward to the championship,” said Evan Forhetz. The trio – mainly out of Nashville - was strong offensively and came through with the win, 15-9.
3x3 is played on a half court with a 10-minute game clock and 12-second shot clock, where 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 very hard to handle with all the court space 3x3 allows players.
With two more Red Bull 3X qualifiers down, the search continues to help identify players who could potentially represent USA Basketball’s men’s and women’s 3x3 national teams in the future. Houston is up next on August 14.
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 men’s and women’s 3x3 National Teams.
Registration for every event remains open till tipoff for anyone who wants their shot at being USA Basketball’s next star. For more information, please visit www.redbull.com/3X.
RED BULL 3X (San Antonio)
MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET
1. 3BALL OMAHA – Dylan Travis, Trey Bardsley, Trey Lansman, Harold Ridgeway
2. Team LA 3X3 – Jeremy Lieberman, Max Montana, Leland King, Jordan Naughton
WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET
1. Chicago – Brittany Brown, N’dea Jones, Natalie Kucowski, Jordan Reynolds
2. Windy City – Blake Dietrick, Lakin Roland, Bashaara Graves, Kate Letkewicz
RED BULL 3X (Orlando)
MENS CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET
1. No Name Nashville: Evan Forhetz, Tyler Boring, Sam Martin
2. Aces: DeAire Lee, Dangelo Lee, Alix Petitfrere, Brandon Moss
WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET
1. The Money Team: Alexis Prince, Niya Johnson, Shayla Cooper, Ieshia Small
2. South Side Ballerz: Keri Jewtt-Gile, Morgan Green, Deangelique Waithe, Camary Williams