SAN DIEGO—For the first time ever, a basketball tournament will be played on Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay and eight San Diego qualifiers will be a part of it.
Josh Snow works as an administrator for a medical group in Temecula and coaches high school basketball. James Josephson works as a bouncer at a bar in Mission Valley. Brandon Mitchell works for a cell phone accessory company. All three of them hope to make their mark on the basketball court on Alcatraz Island.
"At 34 years-old, my glory is kind of the city league now and high school basketball," Snow said "This is an opportunity for me to do something that I enjoy and that I really haven't done for awhile in front of a crowd."
Snow won the San Diego qualifier on July 24 and earned a chance to play in the King of the Rock one-on-one tournament on the same court where inmates once played when Alcatraz served as a federal prison from 1934 to 1963.
Mitchell, a San Francisco native, said he looks forward to the opportunity to return home and play on the National Park he visited as a kid.
"I enjoyed it. It was something unique about it," Mitchell said. "Just the mystique about being on Alcatraz was kind of spooky, but it was an adventure. I'd love to do it again."
The winner of this 64-man tournament will earn the title of King of the Rock and receive a check for $10,000.
"It's easier for me to sneak away from home and get a little practice in when I can tell my wife that I'll give you the $10,000 if I win," Snow said.
"I'm looking forward to that 10-grand right now," Mitchell said. "Maybe get a new car, some new shoes."
"If I win, I'm going to Vegas," Josephson said.
Josephson, 22, graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 2006. At 6'10", he's one of the taller players in the field and he said he believes his height can work to his advantage.
"You've got to be a great shooter, finish at the cup, be physical and foul every once in awhile to let people know that you are there," Josephson said.
The imagination of the marketing crew at Red Bull came up with the idea of playing on Alcatraz and held six qualifiers on the west coast.
Even though he expects to be one of the older players on the court Saturday night, Snow said the high school players he coaches expect him to win it all.
"They told me not to come back and coach if I didn't win, so there's a little bit of pressure on me," Snow said.
The Red Bull 'King of the Rock" basketball tournament is set for September 18.