3×3 Basketball Bounces Back for Second Year

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Author: Emily Phillips

With 21 teams in the league this fall, an increase from only 12 teams competing in its first season last year, the Oxy 3×3 intramural (IM) basketball program began its second year on Sunday, Sept. 20 with more student enthusiasm than ever before. There are eight teams in the A league and 13 in the B league this year, and the athletic department is very excited about what the turnout means for students participating in the sport.

“Intramurals are a great outlet to get the leadership and communicative skills you need. You are able to work with people in a stressful, competitive environment,” Coordinator of Recreational Sports Sae Woon Jo said.

“Intramurals give Oxy students a great place to go and keep playing the sport they love. You meet new people by playing other teams and at the same time have a great time with your friends,” Student Intramural Commissioner Sam Rossi (junior) said. “If students don’t want to participate in varsity sports because of time commitments or other things, Oxy IMs is a place for them to continue their love of the game.”

Every Sunday evening each 3×3 team plays best two out of three games against their scheduled opponent to determine the winner. Each game lasts either ten minutes (a change from the 15-minute time limit last year) or until a team earns 11 points (with one basket equaling one point). Several of the teams that participated on 3×3 last year have come back for a second year, and many will participate in spring 5×5 Intramural Basketball as well.

“IM basketball fields a lot of talent and showcases many great games,” 3×3 participant Daniel Drugan (senior) said.

“Intramurals are such a higher level than open gym. If you don’t have time for the varsity or JV teams, intramurals are the next best thing,” A League Captain Nick Summers (senior) said.

Participants who have played in the 5×5 basketball league in the spring point out several differences between the two leagues. Some have found that the main difference between IM 5×5 basketball and IM 3×3 basketball is that 3×3 is a lot quicker and less tiring.

“There is much more room on the court to move around,” Nick Saade (junior) said. “It’s more personal, since the teams are small and you have to play a best of three series.”

The teams are split into A and B leagues, according to skill level or experience. The A league is the more competitive of the two leagues, and many of the players have past basketball experience either in high school or college.

The Head Hunters, one of the teams on the A league, is led by Albert “The Boss” Ramos (senior), who is playing in the league for his second year. He and his teammates, Alex “The Babe” Safransky (senior) and Daniel “Stormin Normin” Goldstein (senior), always keep in mind that they are there to have fun.”You play against all your buddies, so it’s fun to trash talk a bit during the week and then put your money where your mouth is on [Sundays],” Ramos said. Ramos suspects his team will do well this season, but sees team SAE as a possible bump in the road. “I just want their head to get big for a bit, so we can perform our sneak attack,” he said.

As defending 3×3 Intramural Basketball Champions, team SAE has returned with both an A league and B league team again this year. The A league team is made up of team captain Summers, and Noah Applebome (senior), Tyler Woods (senior) and David Nelson (junior). According to Summers, both the A and B teams had sluggish games two weeks ago and hit the time limit before making it to 11 baskets. But, both teams did win their games. The A league team won against The Bernsteins, led by Mike Bernstein (sophomore), although Summers expects The Bernsteins to be a solid team throughout the season.

SAE expects to be successful since Woods, Applebome and Summers all played on the Tiger JV basketball squad their sophomore year, and the B team, consisting of Thomas Whitacre (junior), Matt Bourne (senior), Tom Logan (senior) and Richard Highsmith (senior) are expected to dominate the B league, according to Whitacre.

However, there is a lot of new talent in the 3×3 league as well. The B league is considered the less competitive of the two leagues, where students who have never played basketball or are looking for a more relaxed style of play can participate. Austin Nelson (first-year) started a B league team called A Team with friends Aaron Wessels (first-year) and Alex Bogrand (first-year). Although two weeks ago they played with only two players against their opponent’s three, they captured the win for one out of their three games.

“IM 3×3 is so much fun because while it is competitive, we all know it’s just a game,” Nelson said.

Lindsay Palmer (first-year), captain of the It’s Britney team of the B league, shares this sentiment. “We all just go out there to have a good time and laugh,” Palmer said. “It’s a fantastic way to meet people.”

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