Back in May, the Dew NBA 3X Tournament, the NBA’s first-ever 3-on-3 competition between elite basketball players sponsored by Mountain Dew, kicked off in downtown Atlanta.
After the competition came to an end at The Gulch, which is very close to Philips Arena, two teams emerged with more to accomplish. From the men’s bracket, HandDown-ManDown (Deonte Stocks, Ashton Pitts, Darius Waters, Dominique Coleman) were the victors and The Unknowns (Alexia Adams, Stanecia Graham, Elan Brown, Morgan Jennings) were the champions from the women’s bracket without practicing together.
“We prepared the day of,” Adams said. “We were really just trying to figure out how to play together while we were on the court. We didn’t have a strategy at the time but after the first game we kind of figured it out and said this is what we need to do and it worked.”
Both teams finished 5-0 in the tournament and The Unknowns capped things in dramatic fashion when Brown drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“Pretty much we are all versatile. I’m the shooter of the team,” Adams said. “Morgan is the penetrator. Stanecia is the penetrator. Elan is the Carmelo [Anthony] of our team. If we play with me, we typically go with Elan and Stanecia. If we play with Morgan then we go with Elan and Stanecia. If the team is a little quicker, we go with me, Morgan and Elan.
Elan is pretty much the rock of our team because she can play any position from the 2, 3 and 4.”
As a result of their perfect finish at The Gulch, The Unknowns and HandDown-ManDown earned a trip to Dew NBA 3X National Finals in Los Angeles on October 23 at the Barker Hanger. These teams were also granted the opportunity to play at the USA Basketball 3-on-3 National Tournament in Colorado last month.
The men’s team with Clint Perkins as a fill-in didn’t advance to the final round but won their consolation game.
“The other guys had been playing together so I was the only one who was new to the team but they are familiar with each others’ game because they played in leagues around the city [Atlanta],” Perkins said. “Also we’ve been playing in a summer league for a couple of months and that is how I got acclimated with them.”
The women’s team didn’t qualify for the final round either since Adams sprained her ankle the last day and couldn’t compete.
“If we keep doing these 3-on-3 tournaments with each other, then we are doing nothing but getting better,” Adams said. “We had an opportunity to win the whole thing in Colorado if we would have had Elan–she was our missing piece. Every team there had four players but we were the only team with three. We just ran out of breath. We played seven games in one day.”
Adams, a 5-4 combo guard who also played at Albany State, recently returned to Romania to begin her sixth season of basketball overseas.
“We have a good chance of going all the way,” said Adams, who will be playing with CS Phoenix Galati for the first time.
Brown will also be playing abroad but in Greece. Adams and Morgan also train with Abraham Millsap and Lilian Abdelmalek (DSA Training) to prepare for their competition in the states and overseas.
Perkins, a 6-4 guard who played at Voorhees College, said playing in Italy, Spain or Mexico this season are possible destinations for him.
The winning teams from Miami, Dallas, Chicago and Houston will also be in L.A. next month for the finale with an opportunity to secure a spot in the 2017 USA Basketball 3-on-3 Tournament.
” I think we have a good chance to win the whole thing,” Adams said.