Summers are all about fun. It’s even better when that fun includes former NBA and WNBA stars. That was just the case last month when Ice Cube brought the league to our youth for a one-of-a-kind hooping event!
Ice Cube’s BIG3 kicked off the season in Detroit at Little Caesars Arena on
June 22 , 2019. The day before the big game, the league hosted its Young3 basketball clinic at our Diehl Club campus. This marks the second year that the rapper, actor, and film producer, targeted Detroit area youth with his Young3 clinic.
“We already had two celebrities come up here before,” says LaNaya, a 16-year-old who has been attending the Diehl Club for over five years. She says that what matters most is feeling like she is being seen. “I just feel like we’re getting opportunities.”
Jerome Williams, AKA Junk Yard Dog, was on hand to inspire the youth and make sure the tournament went smoothly.
“Ice Cube asked me a year and a half ago to run the Young3,” says Williams who was a first-round NBA draft pick in 1996. “They feel very strongly about giving back. Especially in Detroit, where my career started.”
In the BIG3 league, teams of 3 play against each other in a game of half court basketball. An MC, DJ and the crowd make it feel more like a game of streetball in the middle of the neighborhood than a professional basketball game.Young3 operates the same way. And the game was in our neighborhood.
“This is a better opportunity to get our skills up,” says James, 12. “I wanted to show everybody how good I was.”
Talent was everywhere in the building.
“This is a hotbed for basketball,” says Williams. “I always know about the D.”
James, 11, has also been attending the Diehl Club for several years.
“I started playing basketball when I was 4,” he says. “My friends who I played with since then are here with me today. That’s why I was excited to come.”
Young3 teams competed in three age brackets. Each player was given a Young3 jersey that doubled as their ticket into the BIG3 game the following day.
Erica Anderson grew up in the Dauch Club’s neighborhood. Her two sons attend Southfield Public Schools, but she brings them to BGCSM to keep them active.
“They couldn’t even sleep last night,” says Anderson. “I love activities like this because it gives young Black males something to do with their free time.”
LaNaya says that even as a kid, she can agree.
“I’d rather be here than to be out there at a park watching somebody fight,” she says.
Young3 gave our youth an opportunity to compete even harder on the court than they did after school every day, earn some pretty cool trophies and even meet celebrities.
Click here to view more photos from this year’s YOUNG3 Basketball Clinic.
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