After cancelling last season because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Big 3 will launch its fourth season beginning on July 10th in Las Vegas with various enhancements to its game play.
The Big 3’s 10-week season will be broadcast on CBS, including the league’s season opener at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas and Xavier University in New Orleans, a nod toward the league’s plan to host games at historical Black colleges and universities (HBCU’s). The Big 3 said it received a commitment from former NBA player and 2019 Big 3 MVP Joe Johnson, and plan to announce other player commitments and playoff locations “in the coming weeks.”
Hip-hop mogul Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz, the Big 3 Co-Founders, hoped to delay the start of last season from the summer to the fall and oversee an additional quarantined, reality show 3-on-3 pre-season basketball tournament. But those plans were ultimately halted because of the pandemic. In part of a joint statement, Ice Cube and Kwatinetz said, “after a challenging year, we can’t wait to have our players back on the BIG3 court for the best season yet.”
Below is the schedule that the Big 3 announced on Friday. All games will be shown on CBS with exception to the games on Week 5.
2021 BIG3 Dates:
Week 1: Saturday, July 10, 2021 | 12:30-3 PM ET at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV
Week 2: Saturday, July 17, 2021 | 2-4 PM ET at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV
Week 2: Sunday, July 18, 2021 | 3-6 PM ET at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV
Week 3: Saturday, July 24, 2021 | 1-3 PM ET at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV
Week 4: Saturday, July 31, 2021 | 3-6 PM ET at Xavier University in New Orleans, LA
Week 5: Thursday, August 5, 2021 | 4 PM ET at Xavier University in New Orleans, LA
Week 6: Saturday, August 7, 2021 | 12-2 PM ET at Xavier University in New Orleans, LA
Week 7: Saturday, August 14, 2021 | 1-3 PM ET at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV
Week 8: Saturday, August 21, 2021 | 1-3 PM ET at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV
Week 9: Saturday, August 28, 2021 | 3-6 PM ET, Location TBA (Playoffs)
Week 10: Saturday, September 4, 2021 | 3:30-6 PM ET, Location TBA (Championship)
The Big 3 also made various changes to game play. It lowered the minimum athlete age from 27 to 22. It will allow both professional and non-professional athletes to participate. And teams to have one challenge per half that will be settled with a one-on-one possession.
The Big 3 said it will coordinate with local health and safety officials and follow the location’s protocols before determining fan attendance.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Big3 set to return in July after coronavirus canceled last season