2020 event to take place at Atlantic Station as college basketball’s top seniors once again compete for $150,000
Texas Border Business
ATLANTA – Guard Jordan Jackson and forward Lesley Varner II of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley men’s basketball team are two of 10 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) seniors named to the Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship Midseason Watch List, which was announced on Tuesday. The 2020 event is scheduled for April 3-5 at Atlanta’s Atlantic Station, where it will be contested outdoors for the first time.
In what is the single-largest gathering of draft-eligible talent in the months leading up to the NBA Draft, the Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship features 128 seniors from all 32 Division I conferences vying for one of the biggest purses at any FIBA-sanctioned 3×3 event. Teams will compete for $150,000, with $100,000 going to the tournament champions. The winning team will once again earn an automatic berth to the 2020 USA Basketball 3×3 Open National Championship in May.
One of the most prolific dunkers in the nation, Jackson has twice been featured on Sportscenter’s Top Plays this season, including the “Best Dunk” on Jan. 9. He is averaging 15.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Jackson ranks fourth in the WAC in scoring and free throw percentage (.853) and fifth in steals per game. In WAC play, Jackson ranks third in scoring (16.3) and steals per game (1.5), fifth in field goal percentage (.500) and 10th in free throw percentage (.837).
A consistent presence in the Vaqueros’ lineup for the last three and a half years, Varner is 16 points from 1,000 for his career. He is averaging 12.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Varner ranks sixth in the WAC in rebounding, eighth in steals per game and free throw percentage (.813), and 10th in scoring. In WAC play, Varner ranks fourth in steals per game (1.4), ninth in rebounding (6.1), 10thin scoring (13.4) and 13th in free throw percentage (.811).
Terry Winn III, who graduated in May, competed in the event last year. He is currently playing for Odessa in the Ukranian Superleague.
The Tournament will once again receive non-stop coverage through its broadcast partners Twitter and ESPN. Every second of the 2020 Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship will be available to a national audience beginning with pool play games on Friday and Saturday, April 3-4, and knockout rounds on Sunday, April 5. Twitter will be the exclusive home of pool play games, as well as the Round of 16 and quarterfinal games. ESPN2 will carry the semifinal, consolation and championship contests.
Last year, the Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship featured nearly 100 All-Conference honorees, 45 first-team selections, eight conference Players of the Year, 11 USBWA All-District performers and nine conference tournament Most Outstanding Players. Among this year’s watch list are more than 150 preseason All-Conference honorees and 13 preseason conference players of the year.
Each team roster will be comprised of four eligible seniors from the same Division I conference. Teams will be organized into eight pools of four and each team will be guaranteed three pool play games, earning $1,000 for every victory on Friday and Saturday. The top two teams in each pool will move on to Sunday’s knockout stage, where the stakes skyrocket. Only the teams competing in the tournament final will earn additional prize money, with the champions winning $100,000.
“The Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship is unlike any basketball environment around. These elite athletes are entering the prime of their basketball careers, and the fast-paced, physical nature of 3×3 makes this a truly unique experience for players and fans alike,” said Drew Russell, executive vice president at Intersport, which owns and operates the event. “With the spectacle that the Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship drew at Mall of America last year, we knew we had to go even bigger in 2020. With an incredible outdoor venue, fan engagements and attention-grabbing play, Atlantic Station will certainly deliver.”
Opened in 2005, Atlantic Station hosts more than 300 events annually, including large-scale experiences such as DirecTV’s Super Saturday Night, Cirque du Soleil and the BB&T Atlanta Open tennis tournament. The mixed-use district features residential, retail and dining options and has quickly become known as Midtown Atlanta’s core entertainment district, making it the perfect backdrop for the Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship.
Last year, the team from the Colonial Athletic Association – which was made up first-team All-Conference performers Jarrell Brantley, Devontae Cacok, Vasa Pusica and Justin Wright-Foreman – went a perfect 7-0 during the tournament and took home the $100,000 grand prize. Brantley and Wright-Foreman were drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft, and are currently part of the Utah Jazz organization. Cacok recently signed a two-way deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.