Changing the game with BIG3

BIG3 is a crowd-pleasing 3-on-3 basketball league featuring former NBA talent, pyrotechnics, celebrity supporters, and above all, a commitment to giving back to the community. Find out how the sport is using technology to innovate and become accessible to a broad new fan base.

It all began in 2017, when hip hop legend and actor Ice Cube teamed up with entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz to bring a bold new idea to life. Together, they founded BIG3—an innovative 3-on-3 basketball league featuring 12 teams that play FIREBALL3—offering fans a fast-paced, pyrotechnics-filled season of play.

Today, BIG3 stands in a league of its own with former NBA All-Star Clyde Drexler serving as commissioner, and with Hall-of-Famers and legendary players like Julius “Dr. J” Erving, George Gervin, Gary Payton, and Lisa Leslie each coaching teams. It also boasts an impressive roster of former NBA stars including Joe Johnson, Nate Robinson, and Rashard Lewis on teams with names like 3 Headed Monsters, Aliens, Ball Hogs, and Triplets—the current reigning champions.

The goal was to create a professional league with the best 3v3 players in the world. 2021 brought the first-ever open tryouts, a lowered age limit of 22, and the new “Bring the Fire” rule allowing coaches to challenge a foul by going 1-on-1. BIG3 continues to change the game while offering greater accessibility to fans through affordable tickets and back-to-back action-packed games.

Ice Cube looks on as Tri State’s Earl Clark drives against 3’s Company defender Dermarr Johnson.
Big3 Triplets head coach Lisa Leslie draws up a play during a time out against the 3 Headed Monsters at Milwaukee Fiserv Forum in Wisconsin.
Alien’s player Andre Owens passes to a teammate in BIG3 action in Dallas.
Big3 Power Head Coach Nancy Lieberman guides the action and her team to victory against Tri State in Milwaukee, WI.
Trilogy player Isaiah Briscoe fights off Alien’s Andrew Owens as he drives the lane.
3’s Company Mario Chamlmers is defended by Tri State player Nate Robinson.

Ice Cube looks on as Tri State’s Earl Clark drives against 3’s Company defender Dermarr Johnson.

Big3 Triplets head coach Lisa Leslie draws up a play during a time out against the 3 Headed Monsters at Milwaukee Fiserv Forum in Wisconsin.

Alien’s player Andre Owens passes to a teammate in BIG3 action in Dallas.

Big3 Power Head Coach Nancy Lieberman guides the action and her team to victory against Tri State in Milwaukee, WI.

Trilogy player Isaiah Briscoe fights off Alien’s Andrew Owens as he drives the lane.

3’s Company Mario Chamlmers is defended by Tri State player Nate Robinson.

This year, with 3-on-3 basketball now an official Olympic sport, BIG3 is looking to elevate its profile—and its game—with the help of technology. Microsoft signed on as BIG3’s Official Technology Partner this season, adding Surface devices into venues and broadcasts to deepen the league’s engagement with data and statistics. The partnership also includes Microsoft hosting fan voting across its platforms for the “BIG3 Season MVP” and “Player of the Week.”

But most notably, by tapping into the Microsoft Lounge and Microsoft Teams technology, BIG3 hosted a virtual draft connecting the league to key players and draft picks around the country. And they plan to replicate the success of the SuperDraft with a Championship event at the Microsoft Lounge later this season. The goal is to make BIG3 a sport that fans can engage with anywhere, anytime—in person, on TV, or across devices.

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As BIG3 CEO Chris Hannan notes, technology is a core part of the league’s long-term strategy: “Our player’s accessibility and desire to connect directly with fans makes our league unique,” says Hannan. “The BIG3 rules and competition are catered to the fan’s desire for fast-paced, physical and entertaining content where Microsoft technology can deliver the ultimate fan experience.”

Check out the BIG3 action for yourself and learn more about the league.