Final Tryout Stop in Chicago Resulted In Three Ticket Winners
By John Krolik April 9, 2022
Chicago was the last stop for open tryouts for the BIG3 2022 Season. Hopefuls from all over the Second City came to show their skills and try and punch their ticket to the BIG3 combine coming up in Las Vegas on May 14th.
The day started off with a lay-up line/warmup session. Naturally, plenty of the tryout participants took this opportunity to show off their hops:
After that, the players played some 1v1 games before a shooting contest from the 3 and 4-point lines. After that, it’s gametime with a series of games before the 14 best players at the tryout went at it in an “All-Star Game.” Here’s what we saw in the Windy City.
There was plenty of talent on display. Forward Chris Bailey showed off his athleticism with some powerful dunks in 3v3 action, but the best play of the day was this work of art he pulled off from under the rim:
Drive right, spin back left, then go back up-and-under to finish on the left side with English. I’ve been on ice-skating rinks that aren’t that smooth.
Dana Givens turned heads with his jump shooting in Chicago. He was a monster in the shooting tournament, where he went 30/40 from 3 and 4-point range to win the contest. He had no problem finding his shots when the 3v3s started, either. When he was left open, he hit it.
The 6’10, 240 pound University of Oregon Product and BallisLife member Michael Chandler was a force on both ends. Codie Minnie found out the hard way just how well Chandler can control the paint:
The BIG3 handed out three tickets to Vegas, joining the players from the Dallas, DC and Phoenix tryouts: TK Edogi and Thomas Gipson III from Dallas, Delonte West, Kevin “Uncle Scoob” Kuteyi, and Artur Labinowicz from DC, and Victor Evans and Jaron Hopkins from Phoenix.
USC graduate JT Terrell showed some of everything over the course of the tryout. He dropped jaws with the dunks he threw down in warmups. He left his 1v1 opponents helpless by draining fadeaway after fadeaway. Terrell only shot 25.9% from deep in his final season at USC, but he had no trouble whatsoever with the deep ball in Chicago. He consistently found the mark from the outside in 3v3, and he was able to show he has range out to the 4-point circles in the shooting contest:
Bryton Hobbs will be joining Terrell in Vegas. Hobbs is already known to many thanks to his appearances on BallisLife. It’s worth mentioning that Ball Is Life isn’t just a company to Bryton – it’s a mantra. After going undrafted out of Bellarmine college, Bryton circled the globe to keep his dream of playing professional basketball alive.
Since 2012, Hobbs has played in Australia, Spain, Hungary, and Germany. If you include his time at Bellarmine on his resume, he’s played for 11 teams on five countries in three continents. That’s commitment. He hasn’t just been collecting stamps on his passport, either. From the 2013-14 season to now, he’s shot 44.2% from beyond the arc in international competition. The only player shooting better than that from deep in the NBA this season is Luke Kennard, who’s hitting 45.0% of his shots from deep. And by the way, Hobbs has shot a tidy 91.8% from the line during that time.
He’s not just a shooter, either. Hobbs averaged 6.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game in his last six years of international basketball. In Chicago, he showed just how much damage a true veteran can do. His handle was clean and his shot was on point. When it came to the 3v3 contests, he was simply too crafty for the players who don’t have his kind of resume to keep up with.
The final player to leave Chicago with a ticket to the Vegas combine was Damier Pitts, who has a resume not too different from Hobbs’. After going undrafted out of Marshall, he racked up more than a few frequent flyer miles over the course of his career.
He played in Iceland, Turkey, Italy, Latvia, Finland, Portugal, Hungary, and Macedonia. He’s been an All-Star in Iceland and Latvia. He’s won a championship in Portugal. He showed a complete game in Chicago. Maybe that shouldn’t be surprising, since he’s been honing his game all around the world for a decade. He controlled the game in 3v3 action. He showed off a nice jumper. Like Hobbs, he showed a wide array of tricks, feints, and changes of direction that his defenders weren’t ready for.
Those will be the players representing Chicago in Vegas with their shot to be drafted by a team for the 2022 BIG3 season.