Why Bearcats Fans Should Be Excited For Ice Cube’s ‘Big 3’ Basketball League
By: Alex Marcheschi
Legendary rapper Ice Cube has created a professional three-on-three basketball league that will feature some of the best NBA players of yesteryear. Legends like Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups, Jason “White Chocolate” Williams and Mike Bibby have all agreed to play in the league. Oh, and there are four former Bearcats in the mix as well, including one player with his jersey in the rafters.
Bearcats legend Kenyon Martain will be the captain of a team called “Trilogy” and he drafted fellow Bearcat James White to be on his squad.
Trilogy will assuredly be one of the best teams in the league, as they got the first pick in the draft and took former North Carolina standout guard Rashad McCants. They also have former Denver Nuggets star Al Harrington and former Atlanta Hawk Dion Glover on their team. They should be really fun for Bearcats fans to watch as both Kenyon and James White still get talked about in local lore. White had a few stints in the NBA, he just won a championship overseas and he’s still regarded as one of the best dunkers alive.
And we all know what Kenyon Martin has done in his career, going to the Finals with the Nets and playing alongside greats like Iverson and Melo in the latter years of his career, but around Cincinnati he’s still beloved for the work he did in the classic Jordan brand uniforms.
The other two Bearcats in the Big 3 are also teammates, on Allen Iverson’s team nonetheless. DerMarr Johnson and Ruben Patterson were both drafted by The Answer to be members of his team, 3’s Company. Their team will be filled out by Georgetown great Mike Sweetney and former Houston standout Andre Owens.
Johnson only played one year at Cincinnati, on the fabled 1999-2000 team, but he left his mark in fan’s hearts with his versatile game and 6’9″ frame. He could cram it and knock down threes, as you can see in the highlights below where he shot 100% from the field in the first half of a game against Louisville.
Ruben Patterson rounds out the list of Bearcats in the Big 3. Nationally, he’s most famous for nicknaming himself “The Kobe Stopper”, but in Cincinnati he’s still remembered for his amazing play. I couldn’t find any highlights of him on the Bearcats, but he was an absolutely fearless player. He played in Cincinnati for two seasons, ’96-’97 and ’97-’98, before moving on to the NBA, but you can see how fearless he truly was in this highlight where he stuffs home a putback dunk over Shaq.
Now, clearly these guys are all much older now, but there will be money on the line in these games and I’m sure Ice Cube has made it very clear how important it is to be entertaining. Fox Sports One has purchased the rights to broadcast the league and the games start after the NBA season ends on June 25. Fox Sports One isn’t playing around either, today they announced that Gus Johnson, Jim Jackson and Michael Rapaport will be the announcers. That trio alone should make it interesting.
The games will be played in different locations, kind of like a traveling circus and there will eventually be a tournament at the end to decide a champion. I’ve listed all the teams and their rosters below, don’t be surprised if they show up at U.S. Bank Arena with all the Bearcats in the mix. Trilogy and 3’s Company honestly look like two of the best teams, so hopefully we get a Bearcats filled Championship game.