NY Harlem and Princeton: an all-American 3x3 rivalry
DOHA (Qatar) - FIBA 3x3 is full of rivalries. Some come over years of back and forth wins while others are built on avenging epic buzzer-beaters and posterizing dunks. But there is nothing like an intra-country rivalry.
As the United States continue to grow the 3x3 game and produce new talent, the country currently boasts having the 4th (NY Harlem) and 5th (Princeton) ranked teams in the FIBA 3x3 Team Ranking.
NY Harlem and Princeton will be heading to Doha on November 20-21 in the fourth Masters of the World Tour season. NY Harlem currently ranks 4th in this year’s World Tour standings, while Princeton will enter their first competition of the year, after finishing second in last year’s World Tour Final.
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At the center of the rivalry are two of the best players in 3x3, "Disco Domo" Jones of NY Harlem, and Kareem Maddox of Princeton.
Maddox and his Princeton teammates have been preparing on their own and are ready to get back on the court after over a year-long layoff.
"This year is probably going to be closer to rolling the ball out and seeing how we do. We’re all individually prepared and while we have a lot of confidence, the main focus for us to playing well in our first tournament back."
Their rivalry on the World Tour dates back to 2018, where the two teams faced off at the Penang Masters. NY Harlem defeated Princeton 21-16 in the quarter-finals, before losing to Liman in the next round.
The action heated up in 2019, where they went head to head at both the Lausanne Masters and the Utsunomiya Final. In Lausanne, Disco Domo and NY Harlem took home their first World Tour title while he earned MVP honors.
"It’s always a great time playing against those guys (Princeton) and competing," said Jones.
For Maddox, it was no surprise seeing his Team USA compatriot tearing it up.
“We’ve not created a rivalry to play for third place."”
"Domo is a great player. He’s a great guy and a good friend but playing against him is always difficult. He has the whole bag of moves. I think he’s a really good player."
At the 2019 World Tour final, it was a different story. Princeton dominated NY Harlem, 21-12, in the quarter-finals, on their way to a nail-biting defeat in the championship game to Novi Sad (SRB).
"I think it’s definitely a rivalry (with NY Harlem). I think what’s important to remember is that the number one team has been Novi Sad and Liman. We’ve not created a rivalry to play for third place. Both Princeton and Harlem are aiming to be the number one team on the World Tour," said Maddox.
With their return to the World Tour just weeks away, we hope to once again see this all-American matchup.