The UK’s biggest 3x3 summer stunner hit courts across the country in a heatwave of hot hoops action that took Britain’s 3x3 game to a whole other level in 2019. Ball Out 3x3 is now firmly established as the #1 3x3 competition throughout the UK, giving ballers of all ages and all levels their time to shine on a high-energy platform and the opportunity to use their game to build their name, with the whole 3x3 community watching.
Ball Out continues to be a key part of the FIBA 3x3 world qualifying tournament, with the winners from the Elite Men’s division earning the right to represent the UK at the next stage of European qualification and compete for $30,000 in the FIBA World Championships. This year, the tournament introduced some new sponsors, including the NBA Store, Nandos and Nike Basketball, which elevated the finals experience from street to elite, giving the finalists an even better stage to show and prove their skills were ready for prime time.
The stakes were high.
Ducketts Common, aka TPL, the undisputed mecca of streetball courts across the UK, once again played host to the finals across 6 divisions. With classifications ranging across U16 Boys, U18 Men, U18 Women, Women’s Open, Men’s Open and Elite Men - the statement trophies, bragging rights, IG highlights and Nike juice were locked in and ready to bless each category champion.
Each division featured finalists who have been grinding all summer up and down the country to snatch a hard-earned spot in the showpiece event, so the level of competition always promised to be high - and once again, it delivered.
First on deck was the U16 Boys which featured players from London, Manchester Birmingham, Northampton and (reportedly) Budapest! With a wealth of talent throughout the division, the future of 3x3 basketball looks to be in good shape with ‘Drip Or Drown’, ‘Tru Geezeers’ and ‘Royal City Halos’ all looking like good money as they progressed through to the knockout stages of the tournament. However, it was ‘Bucket Lad’ who came up big when it mattered the most behind the skills of Ridley Shema, Axel Enza, Damilare Adedeji and Emmy Osisioma. Bucket Lad were too much, too often and too skilled to be denied on the day and beat Tru Geezers 9-4 in the final to claim the crown.
The U18 Women’s final matched ’Southwark Pride’ against ‘Charged Up’ in a game that could have gone either way. Southwark’s Ozzy-Momodu sisters (Isimenme and Benahilli) are fast earning a London-wide reputation as a dynamic, athletic duo who can dominate games in a number of ways and are fresh off of a CBL Championship win earlier this summer. Joined by Shantell Ayton, Southwark had good reason to have one eye on the prize. However Teresa Da Silva, Cynthia Adebayo and Jolicia Cadogan were quick to draw the Pride’s attention to the game at hand and took advantage of any lapse in concentration by getting bucket after bucket at the basket and were everything their team name said they would be (‘Charged Up’!) in getting some daylight between the 2 squads. Da Silva’s squad ultimately ran out comfortable and well-deserved winners 10-4 to claim the U18 Women’s Ball Out 2019 crown.
The U18 Men’s division is always action packed at Ball Out and always gives the country a glimpse into ‘who’s got next’ featuring players who are growing into their games with blossoming bounce, ready-for-show handles and drip drip jumpers turning heads and creating curiosity amongst coaches, older heads and fans who want to stay up on who’s about to be the next big thing. The U18 division this summer belonged to a spark plug guard, Esret Ki, who Balled OUT in the finals but also did alot of heavy lifting to get his team into the final. Ki’s team ‘Unserious Unserious’ were the complete opposite in the finals, going up against the favoured Ac3s, featuring a well-respected line-up of Franklin Age, Joseph Banicole and Emeke Udema. Ki is a baller. A point guard who can drain the 3 ball in volume and from range while dropping enough dimes to make a dollar (take a moment, read that again…yh yh). In the biggest play of the U18’s finals, Ki drove left, got in the lane, took the defense with him and threw a no-look, behind-the-back stunner to his team mate to convert the lay for the game. Nice. For his exploits, Ki’s team took home the Chip and he was named U18’s MVP. Good summer.
In the Mens Open Division Team Buckets came all the way down from Leicester to put Midlands 3x3 basketball on the map, taking the title in what many may call an upset. Ball Out is not about your name or rep, you have to bring your game or step. Anyone can get it. So it was written, so it was done. Team Buckets got busy in the quarter finals coming through right at the death to stun the Lithuanian force otherwise known as Bro LT in a
15-14 nail biter. Jasanpreet Singh, Lamin Kassama, Sam O’Shea and Elhiji Jabby then dismantled Seciro BC in the semi’s in a surprisingly comfortable 13-7 win, setting them up for a final match up against #freeflacko (Sweden, what’s good??). #freeflacko came into the game with the name and certainly passed the eye test as pre-game favourites. However the Leicester boys came to get buckets in Ducketts - and that’s exactly what they did. Good energy. Team Buckets for the win 9-7. Salute.
S/O the GOAT 'TRG' Joel Henry he took the bag(£500) in the Bigfoot Basketball Dunk Contest.
In the Women’s Open Division the team everyone talked about on the sidelines was ’Switch It Up’ featuring Kenisha Whyte (straight BALLER, no question), Charlotte Thomas-Rowe and ‘Pro Money’ aka Shequila Joseph. Watching these women Ball Out was arguably the highlight of the day. They get it IN. Joseph was unstoppable on the block with footwork in the post that had defenders dancing the 2-step all day. Not content with dominating the paint, she also showed why she is ‘Pro Money’ from outside too, hitting 3’s whenever she felt like it. Levels. She was more than matched and supported by Whyte who has that ‘something something’ to her game…that baller bite…that snap, that made her a step too quick and her moves just too slick to be stopped by anyone. She’s nice. Switch It Up beat ‘My Guys R Ballers’ 9-5 in the quarters, then pulled out a tough win over ‘Internationals’ 15-12 in the semi’s (good game) and then cleaned up on ‘Dirty South’ in the final 12-5. Winners get dinner and these women most definitely ate. Worthy champions.
In the Men’s Elite Final, it was a match-up between the hardcore, savvy veteran play of the ‘Punishers’ vs the young legs, future star potential of the ‘Hackney Boys’ for all the marbles. The winner of this game progresses on to represent the UK in FIBA World Championship qualification and the chance to win $30,000. Big time. In making the final, the Hackney Boys (Aaron Badibo, Tyrel Capelton, Jaylon Braithwaite and Jahmar Pitterson) took out some heavyweight contenders in beating All Ball Network and the legendary streetball savant Tarryn Algar and also Team Underrated who knocked out pre-tournament favourite AJ Roberts and his ‘Product Of My Environment (POME)’ squad, so many had them tipped to complete the sweep and win it all. However as Ball Out continues to prove time and time again, it’s not what you’ve done it’s what you can do RIGHT NOW that matters in this tournament and you have to be ready to bring it at 1000 every second of the game. The Punishers know how to play 3X and they put on a shooting display for the ages, while controlling the paint like a boss. Arunas Butkys, Kestutis Palubinskas, Edvardas Varpiotas and Egidijus Revuckas played like they wanted it more, knew how to exploit the Hackney Boys in the right areas and took full advantage of a hot shooting streak which saw them drain 4 3-pointers as they cruised to a 15-5 ultimately easy win. That’s how it goes sometimes. All respect is due to The Punishers who earned their spot in the next round of the FIBA 3X and now get to wear the crown as Elite Men’s Ball Out Champions for a whole year.
Until next summer that is…
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Special thanks to:
Our Sponsors Nike, Nando's, 2K and the NBA Store
Bigfoot Basketball for supporting the Dunk Contest
Flo, Julia, Graham, Pat and Carol you guys were absolutely amazing at capturing images throughout the day.
MixMyTape thank you for all your hard work.
The Core staff and all the rest of the staff members that have helped out throughout the entire 2019 National Tour.
The Hosts Yang, Tahir and of course ‘The Voice of Reason’
TJ the DJ keeping the tunes spinning all day
Steve Bucknell & Basketball England for your support
Burk Gravis and Hesketh with support within the borough