It started with a “Why?” As a fan, Ice Cube wondered “Why isn’t three-on-three a pro sport? Was it just relegated to the backyards and the playgrounds and the parking lots?” Then, it turned into a mission. Cube thought, “Can we fill that void? The answer kept coming back, ‘Yes.' So, we went for it. We did the impossible, we started a league from scratch. And making it work is a pretty big mountain to climb.”
Now, BIG3 is changing the game while Monster energizes the crowd and athletes for a second season. “This partnership is a match made in heaven. It's been great from day one. Even Monster’s logo has the three claw marks! I don't know if any of our dreams about a sponsorship could have fit as great as this one,” said Cube.
And the partnership doesn't stop there! Get hyped because Monster Energy and BIG3 are giving YOU a chance to win a trip to the Bahamas with Ice Cube and the BIG3 Players. The five Grand Prize winners will bring a guest to spend 5 days and 4 nights in the Bahamas with BIG3!
Cube went from a passionate fan to reinventing basketball both on and off the court. With five seasons in his pocket, BIG3 is a space to give opportunity, take chances, and let talent shine through. “Just think how much further America would be along if we could get rid of the sexism and racism. We would be 10 times better as a nation. With our league, we just want the cream to rise to the top. It doesn't matter what that package is, we just want the best people to be a part of our league whether that is through coaching, planning, announcing, the front office, or wherever we can. Let's break down barriers.”
BIG3 is using its influence to set a standard for what modern sports should be like moving forward. “We are the first professional sports league to allow CBD use, the first league to embrace mental health and not shy away from it, and the first league to show that women coaches can win championships and coach at the highest levels. This is what we want to be about. We are a player's first league.” Even the NBA has started to adapt to some of BIG3’s innovations. “We see the NBA using a lot of our innovations when it comes to giving players more control over who they play, how their team functions, and how they’re treated. Our captains are our GMs (General Managers) as well, so it's great to be out front with some of this stuff, to be honest.”
Another innovation by the BIG3 is open tryouts to the public, which gives everyone an opportunity to play. This makes the game of three-on-three even more powerful to watch. These athletes are the best of the best, not because of money, status, or connections, but because of their unbelievable talent. But how did Cube conceptualize this monumental idea? “We want the best BIG3 players in the world, wherever we can find them. Whether it's coming out of the NBA, coming from a team from around the world, or a guy who wants to give it one last shot. There are a lot of diamonds in the rough out here when it comes to playing the game, and we don't want to miss any of those. We want to give guys a chance at their dreams.”
To expand the opportunity, BIG3 lowered the tryout’s minimum age to 22. “We realized that you have to have a certain skill set to be able to play BIG3. Just because you were good in the NBA, doesn't mean you're going to be good in the BIG3, and vice versa. BIG3 is its own sport with its own set of skills. A guy that didn't make it in five-on-five could definitely shine with three-on-three. So, we wanted to open it up to all athletes who have the ability to play at this level.”
Even better, BIG3 players are not limited to just playing three-on-three. In fact, Cube calls it a “milestone moment” when BIG3 players also play in the NBA. “It shows that BIG3 does play at a high level. Guys that play in our league can play in the NBA, given the opportunity. It's cool because it's another avenue to see great talent. There's no clash between us and the NBA. The schedules are compatible, and we want our players to make it back if they can.”
In just five seasons, BIG3 has progressed and made meaningful impacts that other professional sports teams have not yet been able to implement. And this is just the beginning. BIG3 is growing and evolving. “We want to have more teams. We’re going to eventually go from 12 to 16, and who knows from there.” Cube even hints at international expansion to “create what we call the Big Cup, which is international teams competing with one of our national teams to see who has the best three-on-three team in the world and make it hopefully as big as the World Cup one day. That’s a vision that we believe we can achieve. We want the best players in the world. Come one, come all. We believe the BIG3 is the best three-on-three league in the world. So, we want the best to compete.”
So, BIG3 partners with Monster Energy to deliver the best energy to the best athletes, giving their fans the greatest experience they could ask for. BIG3 is changing the game, and Monster Energy is fired up to be a part of it. “I want to just thank everybody at Monster Energy for the collaboration last year. We’re going to do great things going forward this year. I'm just happy that BIG3 is part of the Monster family,” Cube said as we finished up the interview. He’s a man who sees no barriers, who makes things happen, and is changing the world one half-court at a time.