Inaugural L.A. Street Festival Culminates with First FIBA 3x3 World Tour Win for USA’s Team Princeton
Thousands of fans attended end-of-summer festival featuring FIBA 3x3 competition, Hoop It Up open tournament, esports open tournament and immersive L.A. cultural experience
The inaugural L.A. Street Festival culminated on Saturday, September 21 with Team Princeton (USA) taking the win over No. 2 ranked Team Liman of Serbia in a nail-biting FIBA 3x3 World Tour final game. In front of a full house, Princeton led the entire game and made history as they claimed their first FIBA World Tour Masters title with a final score of 16-11. The two-day block party welcomed thousands of fans who enjoyed an immersive L.A. cultural experience, including the first-ever FIBA 3x3 World Tour stop in Los Angeles, a Hoop It Up 3x3 tournament and an open esports Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament this past weekend.
“Basketball is the most popular sport in America and 3x3 represents the perfect blend of streetball and world-class caliber athleticism,” said Patrick Soon-Shiong, Chairman and CEO of NantWorks and Executive Chairman of the Los Angeles Times. “We were thrilled to introduce the FIBA 3x3 World Tour in Los Angeles, get the community on the court for the Hoop It Up open tournament and see so many kids and families enjoying the esports and hoops activities at the festival.”
Twelve teams from around the globe competed in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour event at the L.A. Street Festival, giving fans a last chance to see the sport up close before its debut in the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020. Olympic hopeful athletes including the tournament’s MVP, Los Angeles native Kareem Maddox of Team Princeton (USA), and three-time FIBA world champion Dušan Bulut (SRB) competed for prize money and the L.A. title.
“This win is absolutely huge,” said Maddox. “We’ve been playing together for a long time and we have gotten really close in the past, but we couldn’t get over the hump. To win in L.A., in front of a home crowd, our only domestic tournament, is so big. Thank you to all the fans.”
Princeton, currently ranked No. 4, defeated the FIBA 3x3 World Tour’s No. 1 team Novi Sad of Serbia in the semi-finals to earn their spot in the final game. Other teams that competed over the weekend included Zemun (SRB), Liman (SRB), Gagarin (RUS), Lausanne (CHE), Amsterdam (NED), Jeddah (SAU), Piran (SLO), Ulaanbaatar (MGL), Rio Norte (BRA) and São Paulo DC (BRA). The final results are included in FIBA’s news release.
FIBA and the Los Angeles Times media group announced in June that they would bring the annual FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final to Los Angeles from 2020 through 2023.
In between the 3x3 action, the on-court entertainment included breaking battles, a three-point shootout and a high-flying dunk contest featuring celebrity judges, former FIBA and NBA stars Rick Fox and Andrei Kirilenko. Myree “Reemix” Bowden (USA) sealed the win in the dunk contest powered by L.A. Times over competitors Tyler Currie, and former Harlem Globetrotter and 2018 alum of “The Bachelorette” Chris Staples. Szymon Rduch (Team Jeddah - KSA) won the shoot-out contest, presented by Monster Energy.
In addition, Hoop It Up, the largest grassroots 3x3 basketball tour in the U.S. owned by former NBA Most Valuable Player, All Star and World Champion Kevin Garnett, previewed their 2020 tour with an open tournament all weekend long. Garnett was also among the celebrities in attendance over the two-day event.
Hundreds of gamers competed in an open esports Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament where the grand prize winner took home $5000 and runner ups won a variety of coveted gaming gear.