Wright State’s Mark Hughes and University of Dayton’s Josh Cunningham will represent their schools this weekend in the 2019 Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship at Minnesota’s Mall of America as part of the Final Four festivities.
The tournament features all-star teams of seniors who have exhausted their collegiate eligibility representing all 32 Division I conferences. The teams will compete for a $150,000 prize pool, with the champions taking home $100,000, double the prize money from a year ago. Additionally, the winners will earn the right to compete in the 2019 USA Basketball 3×3 Open National Championship later this spring.
Hughes is one of four players selected from the Horizon League. Former Raider Grant Benzinger participated in last year’s tournament in San Antonio.
A 6-3 guard from Youngstown, Hughes recently finished his four-year basketball career for the Raiders where he was twice named to the Horizon League’s All-Defensive Team. Hughes played in 129 games while being part of the 2018 NCAA Tournament team and WSU’s first-ever NIT team in 2019 as Wright State tied for the Horizon League regular-season title. He averaged just under 10 points a game during the last two seasons while starting 90 contests.
In addition to Hughes, Team Horizon includes Detroit guard Josh McFolley and Northern Kentucky forward/center Drew McDonald.
Cunningham is playing on a team composed of players who have finished their college careers in the Atlantic 10 Conference. UD’s three time captain is joined by Saint Louis guards Javon Bess and Tramaine Isabell, and La Salle guard Pookie Powell.
Cunningham just completed his Flyer career with 964 points in three seasons, 52nd all-time at UD. This season, he averaged 13.3 points and 6.2 rebounds a game, while shooting (.639, 156-244) from the floor. His career field goal percentage of .649 (367-574) is second-best all-time at Dayton. Cunningham was a three-time captain and two-time All-Atlantic 10 Third Team. Including his freshman season at Bradley, he scored 1,224 points in his college career.
All games of the Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship will be carried live on Twitter or ESPN2. Pool play will begin at 3 p.m. ET on April 5, with 24 games streamed live exclusively on Twitter. Pool play will continue on April 6 at 9:30 a.m. ET with 24 more games streamed live exclusively on Twitter. Round of 16 and quarterfinal games will be streamed live exclusively on Twitter at 10:30 a.m. ET on April 7, with semifinal, consolation and championship games televised live on ESPN2 later that day at 3 p.m. ET. Returning to call all the action throughout the tournament will be the voice of FIBA 3×3 basketball, Kyle Montgomery, with Robbie Hummel of ESPN and Tate Frazier and Mark Titus of The Ringer’s One Shining Podcast providing color commentary and sideline coverage.
Each team roster includes 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 setting for the second annual Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship will be unlike anything the 128 players have seen when they take to the half-court inside Mall of America, the most popular tourist destination in Minnesota with more than 40 million visitors each year. The Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship will be staged in the Rotunda at the Mall, which hosted the first WCW Monday Nitro in September 1995, and will be just the second live sporting event to be broadcast in the Mall’s history.
Bragging rights for the winners won’t end in Minnesota; the 2019 champion will earn the right to represent the Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship at the USA Basketball 3×3 Open National Championship later this spring. There, athletes will have the opportunity to be selected to represent the United States in the 2019 FIBA 3×3 World Cup, held June 18-23 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Participating athletes will also be considered for the USA Basketball 3×3 athlete pool, which may lead to future opportunities in other FIBA 3×3 competitions. Of note, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will feature 3×3 basketball as a medal sport for the first time.
For more information on the Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship, including event updates, details, rules and more, follow @3X3UHoops on Twitter and visit www.3X3UHoops.com.