A 3x3 Hoopers Paradise Rises in the West
The road to USA Basketball greatness starts at 3X House.
The journey for glory can be an uphill climb for athletes who have dedicated their lives to being the world's best at their game. They work, eat, sleep, and train like the greatest of the greats in hopes of realizing their dreams.
I was given exclusive access to the Beverly Hills compound to see this ultimate training ground and living space for myself. It was something like I’ve never seen before, and the house absolutely pushed the boundaries of being the optimal living and workout space for an athlete in training.
Four USA Basketball athletes representing their country are living in the house: Canyon Barry, Robbie Hummel, Dominique Jones and Kareem Maddox. The 3X House is a true testament of what it means to create a premier residency for athletes, with every detail tailored for the progression and benefit of the players.
Upon arrival, I could see the hard work manifesting itself into the house. Staff were busy but efficient, working with a sense of pride as contributors to a greater goal. At one point, I even saw a crane bring in a literal 500-pound basketball hoop into the backyard and learned that the entire court was shipped into the house; mimicking the same court that will be used for qualifications and the final hoops stage in Japan. Even the LED board on the court was positioned in the exact same way that it would be in the Austria qualifiers. With this advantage, players can train their sightlines on tracking game clock and shot clock.
Each player's room was customized to make them feel more at home: family members secretly sent in photos, room décor was specifically geared towards player’s hobbies, and players even had their favorite quotes placed on their mirrors. The four players are also gamers and were provided their own PlayStation 5 to wind down on off days.
The main dining room showcased basketball art from Japan to remind the players where their journey might take them. Mannequins on podiums in USA Basketball uniforms depict the idea of one day, hopefully, standing on the grandest podium of all.
The art installations in this house are well worth a mention. An actual F1 car and KTM 450 were in the driveway, and custom-created artwork from a dozen creatives including Art Mobb, Andrew Archer, Gary Land, Franchise Magazine, Pure Hoop, Liz Rickey, Lethal Shooter, Drake Cereal, and Devin Troy Strother were placed around the house. USA Basketball portraits from yesteryear were scattered around to remind the players that they too have a chance to be immortalized in the same way.
I was fortunate enough to see a massive mural painting in progress by renowned artist Tommii Lim, who was working on a 3x3 squad being painted on the basketball court wall. The black and white piece exuded a sense of intensity that could not be denied. I had the opportunity to ask Tommii Lim about the piece and the inspiration behind his direction.
“The piece for me is an inspirational thing for the players to see when they’re practicing,” Lim said. “It’s three basketball players charging forward. All my work has power and emotion, and I wanted to bring that on the wall to see every day when they’re training.”
There was an extra sense of sentimentality in the piece that Lim wanted to share within it. He wanted to give the players a piece of himself in hopes that it could help give extra motivation on the road toward that ultimate glory.
“I’ve been painting murals and doing art for a very long time now,” Lim said. “During most of that time I was the tortured artist type. In January 2020, I got back into health and wellness. I started training like an athlete. This piece really encompasses who I’ve become and how I’ve changed as a person. I feel like that energy is somehow tied into this mural as well. Moving forward and improving your life.”
This wasn’t just a house, it was a hoops paradise. This was the manifestation of energy that hundreds of people passionately united together toward executing a common goal. All I could think about the entire time was how surprised these players were going to be once they saw all that had been dedicated to them. The Red Bull 3X House was more than a place to train, it was also a place to call home when the goal is to focus, dig in, and go hard for a dream.