O’Connell & Hawkins will represent men’s basketball in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS, The. — A pair of senior men’s basketball from Creighton will show off their skills this week in New Orleans, site of this weekend’s Final Four. Alex O’Connell was selected to TaxAct’s Men’s 3-Point Championship roster for the 33rd Annual State Farm College Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships on Thursday, while Ryan Hawkins will compete in the 2022 Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship, scheduled for April 1-3.
The 3-point championship that includes O’Connell will be hosted at the Xavier University Convention Center in Louisiana on Thursday, March 31. He is one of eight men selected for the event, which airs live on ESPN at 8 p.m. CT.
Intersport, producer of the event, invites 24 of the nation’s elite male and female college basketball players to compete for bragging rights in the slam dunk and 3-point shot. The night includes the Great Clips Slam Dunk Championship, TaxAct Men’s 3-Point Championship, Rocket Mortgage Women’s 3-Point Shootout Championship, and Team Applebee’s Shootout. The winners of the TaxAct Men’s 3-Point and Women’s Rocket Mortgage Championships will then compete in the State Farm Battle of Champions.
For over 30 years, many of college basketball’s top players have competed in the College Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships including: Gary Payton, Steve Nash, Jason Terry, Kyle Korver, Bobby Hurley, Michael Finley, Allan Houston, Wesley. Matthews, Yogi Ferrell, Cappie Pondexter, Katie Gearlds, Kristi Toliver, Tiffany Hayes and Ariel Atkins.
O’Connell will be the fifth Creighton player in the past 20 years to enter the men’s three-point contest. but first since 2018. Kyle Korver finished second in the 2003 competition behind Butler guard Darnell Archey, while Booker Woodfox did not advance to the semifinals of the 2009 competition won by Miami’s Jack McClinton. Ethan Wragge placed fifth in the 2014 contest won by Baylor’s Brady Heslip. Most recently, Marcus Foster didn’t make it past the quarter-final round in the 2018 shootout, won by William and Mary’s Connor Burchfield. Notably, Creighton Athletics Hall of Famer Kathy Halligan won the 1992 women’s three-point contest.
A full list of entrants for the 2022 State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships will be released in the days leading up to the event.
O’Connell averaged 11.8 points per game as a senior in 2021-22 for a Creighton team that went 23-12 and reached the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. He achieved a career-high of 66 three-point shots last season and has 152 career three-pointers. O’Connell made a career-high six 3-pointers on Jan. 19 in a win over St. John’s, which also set him up for a career-best 28 points.
From April 1-3, Hawkins takes the stage for the 2022 Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship, scheduled for April 1-3 at the Sugar Mill in New Orleans.
Sixty-four players, who have chosen to start their professional careers, will represent all 32 Division I conferences and compete for their share of $150,000 – one of the biggest prize pools of any FIBA-sanctioned event. 3×3 – by teaming up with other potential aspiring professionals from across the country. Each conference will be paired with another, forming 16 four-man rosters that will be split into four pools. Hawkins is one of four players who will be part of the Beast Coast Ballers, a team made up of players from the BIG EAST and Atlantic-10 conferences. The full list of participants has yet to be announced.
The teams will play each team in their respective group on April 1 and 2 before all 16 advance to the knockout stage on April 3, with the top two teams from each group receiving byes to the quarter-finals. The winning team in each pool match will earn $1,000, wins in the first two knockout rounds will net an additional $1,000, a quarter-final win is worth $5,000, a semi-final triumph will cost $10,000 extra $, while the team that wins the tournament title will add $50,000 to their winnings.
The paired conferences and their respective pools can be found below:
Big East/A-10 (Beast Coast Ballers)
American/C-USA (American Made)
Ivy/Patriot (Wicked Smahts)
East America/MAAC (Metro East Mayhem)
Big Ten/MAC (#B1GMACtion)
SEC/SoCon (Dirty South)
ASUN/Sun Belt (SUNs of Anarchy)
Summit/OVC (Summit Valley Oop’n)
Big 12/Southland (southwest souljas)
Horizon/MVC (Horizon Valley Hoopers)
Big Sky / Big West (Western Sky Walkers)
MEAC/SWAC (HBC-U does not want it)
Pac-12/WCC (B-Ball After Dark (BAD) Boys)
ACC/Big South (Tobacco Road Ryders)
MWC/WAC (Rocky Mountain Range)
CAA/NEC (Colonial Con-NEC-tion)
Hawkins led Creighton with 13.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in his only season as a Bluejay, earning Second-Team All-BIG EAST and USBWA All-District 6 accolades. He ranks first among active Division I players with 1,220 career rebounds and 927 field goals made, second with 2,580 points, fifth with 41 double-doubles, seventh with 363 three-point field goals, and 11th with 257 steals.
This year, the Tournament will again benefit from non-stop coverage via Twitter and on the ESPN networks. Every second of the 2022 Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship will be available to a national audience starting with pool matches on Friday and Saturday April 1 and 2 and the Round of 16 on Sunday April 3.
Kyle Montgomery, the voice of FIBA 3×3, and current ESPN and Big Ten Network analyst Robbie Hummel will be behind the call plays on the mic throughout the weekend. Tate Frazier and Mark Titus of the Titus & Tate podcast will also host the Dos Equis Lounge to provide commentary, post-match interviews and more during the three-day experience.
In the first three years of the Dos Equis 3X3U National Championship, at least 200 players who participated in the event signed professional contracts.
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