Three-on-three battle and dunk contest impress
The ninth Annual Blacktop Battle hosted by the Houston Rockets tipped off on Saturday. The two-day 3-on-3 tournament is taking place on 20 courts on the streets next to Toyota Center with 200 teams participating.
In addition to appearances from Rockets entertainers, there is also an interactive kids’ zone, food and entertainment. But the biggest draw is always Saturday’s contests: Slam Dunk Contest, 3-Point Shootout, and Skills Challenge.
Some local athletes on hand to watch these contests included the Rockets’ Patrick Beverley, Thomas Robinson and James Anderson along with Texans’ defensive lineman Earl Mitchell.
“One of the best dunk contests I’ve been to,” Beverley said. “Good atmosphere. That was unbelievable. There are dunks here that you really don’t see a lot anywhere.”
After Saturday’s win in the Slam Dunk Contest, Issac White has now won it three years in a row.
“The competition was nice,” White said. “I actually had a couple friends come out today and compete, so I knew it was going to be a pretty tight competition. The crowd is an energy booster.”
As you can imagine, Blacktop Battle displays a wealth of talent. This year, the tournament teamed up with USA Basketball to field a team from Houston to represent Texas at Basketball Nationals in Colorado Springs in August. The winner of the Adult Elite level will advance.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to grow Blacktop Battle as well as find the real talent in the Houston area,” tournament director Chrislord Templonuevo said.
Video shot and edited by Allen Reid