FINAL RECAP - RED BULL REIGN
By Gavriel M. Wilkins (Contributing Writer, SummerLeagueChi.com)
This past Saturday (7/16), the finals of the 2016 Red Bull Reign (a national, 3x3 basketball tournament) event were held on the blacktop grounds of Seward Park in Chicago’s Lincoln Park community, as sixteen of the top teams remaining from the qualifying round in New Orleans, Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Chicago, looked to battle it out and compete for the quest to be anointed as kings of the court.
With the city’s illustrious skyline serving as the scenic viewpoint and Windy City native DJ Intel behind the ones and twos, the open to the public and free admission event did not disappoint as the high-endurance, offensive-driven tournament lived up to top billing alongside of its dynamic co-hosts. The voice of the Nike Chi-League in Young Wayne and street influencer Hustle Simmons were on the mic for the second consecutive year as the official MCs for the summertime spectacle. This year’s edition of the Red Bull Reign tournament drew its fair share of spectators, as everyone in attendance at Seward Park looked to get a glimpse of the courtside action alongside the summer breeze off the lake. 3x NBA All-Star and New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis was also on hand for the weekend festivities, as the former Kentucky Wildcat tagged alongside of Young Wayne and Simmons to judge the slam dunk contest prior to this year’s championship game.
While several teams found a way to take their games to new horizons at the Red Bull Reign in 2016 (Atypical Sports, Chi Cougars, Old Dirty Ballers, White Iversons), Solid Gold was on a mission from its opening battle on the day to capture its third straight title; the two-time defending champions of the event were led behind the play of Chicago’s own Jamarcus Ellis, Emmanuel Little, Chris Singletary, and Al Stewart. Bounded as basketball kindred due to their intense competitions and battles playing with and against one another on the city’s West Side, the four horsemen came out playing physical and aggressive from the onset on both ends of the floor and sought to attack their opponents down low by posting up Singletary & Ellis any chance they could get to put teams away early. As a result of their execution throughout the tourney, Solid Gold never lost a single game throughout the duration of the tournament and came out on top yet once again, as they knocked off several teams in the final round to complete a magnificent three-year stretch at the Red Bull Reign.
The three-time champions will look to earn the chance to compete in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final qualifier this upcoming September.