It has been a strong couple of months for former Kentucky Wildcat DeAndre Liggins. After finishing another strong season in the NBA’s Developmental League, earning his second Defensive Player of the Year award, Liggins had a strong showing with the Cleveland Cavaliers summer league team and eventually signed a multiyear contract with the defending NBA champions.
Over the weekend, his team, 3 Ball Premier, won the USA Basketball 3x3 national championship. Liggins’ teammates were Myke Henry, Stefhon Hannah, and Alfonzo McKinnie, and they went undefeated at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
According to the USA Basketball website, in order to be eligible for the national championship tournament:
Athletes must participate in at least one FIBA-sanctioned 3x3 tournament prior to participating in the 2016 USA Basketball 3x3 National Tournament that is scheduled to be held Aug. 26-28 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. To receive an invitation to participate in the 2016 USA Basketball 3x3 National Tournament, teams must be selected through a qualifying 3x3 tournament and approved by USA Basketball.
The team will now go on to represent the USA in the fifth annual FIBA 3x3 World Championship in Guangzhou, China. The USA men’s team has yet to find success at the FIBA World Championship, with the top finish coming in 2012 as the Americans came in 7th overall. The most recent appearance for USA came in 2014 when the team finished 14th.
The tournament will take place on October 11-15, which coincides with the NBA preseason. It will be interesting to see how the FIBA schedule impacts Liggins’ role with the Cleveland Cavaliers and ultimately his chances of making their regular season roster.