The Young3: BIG3’s Community Outreach Division
By John Krolik, @krolikjohn June 21, 2022
The BIG3 is the most competitive 3-on-3 league out there, and it’s the fastest-growing professional league on the planet. It’s also a living showcase of the history of professional basketball.
As for the next generation, the BIG3 has that covered too. The Young3, run by brothers Johnnie and Jerome “Junkyard Dog” Williams, is something the BIG3 is very proud to be associated with.
The Young3 is the community outreach division of the BIG3 basketball league. It’s a way for the league to engage the younger audience and the parents of the younger audience. The Young3 teaches its students the three basic skills: shooting, dribbling, and passing. However, what makes the Young3 unique is that the coaches are former NBA players and Harlem Globetrotters.
The Young3 also makes an effort to give the best experience to every participant, regardless of what their skill level may be. The initial warmup always involves Jerome calibrating the enthusiasm level of everyone at the camp and doing something that can get kids of every level involved. There are chants, motions, call to action word phrases, and more activities that only require attention and effort instead of a deep playing background – the Young3 is just as much for kids that have barely touched a basketball as it is for kids with D-1 ambitions.
The Young3 isn’t just about basketball. The program promotes “Books over Ball,” and has also partnered with Solid partners that continue teaching critical life skills beyond the Young3 Experience.
The BIG3 is a barnstorming league, and the Young3 goes wherever the BIG3 does, and has now served youth in 15 cities. The Young3 is a 1-day experience for kids from the ages of 7 to 14 that takes place the day before the Big3 weekend’s games, and the camp’s participants are each given four tickets for themselves and family members.
Money isn’t an issue for a young baller that wants to be a part of the Young3. Thanks to companies like Microsoft, this year’s Young3 sponsor, the experience is free for all participants, and spots are secured on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Young3 is led by former NBA Global Ambassador Jerome “Junkyard Dog” Williams, a veteran of the NBA, the Basketball Without Borders Program, and the BIG3. His work with communities across North America netted him 3 Good Guys in Sports awards from the Sporting News,and he also won the Fannie Mae Home Team NBA community service award.
Additionally, Jerome is one of very few athletes to be invited to the White House for a President’s dinner because of his global off-court impact. The US state department has even dispatched Jerome to venture into war ravaged regions of the world to use his infectious energy and personality to promote peace to young people on both sides of the conflict. He was the first NBA player invited to enter the Forbidden City in Beijing as a league representative.
Williams, ever the humble public servant, is now lending his wisdom and efforts to the Big3 to help grow the reach and make a global impact by offering their Young3 Experience. I could keep going, but you see the point – the BIG3 is full of legends who shaped the game, for both men and women. And as the league continues to get younger, the BIG3 will get more and more top-level players in the prime of their careers. All while inspiring the next generation affectionately known as the Young3.
For more information on Jerome Williams and the Young3, visit the following sites: