IN 2010, Red Bull King of the Rock went down in history as the first official sporting event ever to be held on Alcatraz and the first time basketball had been played on 'The Rock' since the inmates left the island over 50 years ago.
Now in its third year, the global one-on-one basketball tournament will return with the most competitive field to date and Jamaica's best streetballers will be vying for one of the 64 spots in the finals on September 22 in the world's most notorious prison yard.
The first local high-intensity qualifier happens this Saturday at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, followed by Kingston on Saturday, July 21 at the National Stadium, with the local finals set for Saturday, July 28 at the Train Station, downtown Kingston.
International qualifiers will also take place in Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.
Both the qualifiers and finals will incorporate a regular one-on-one basketball set-up where players go head-to-head on an outdoor court using a single elimination tournament bracket. There are only two options — win and continue on, or lose and go home.
Games will last five minutes and be subject to regulation hoops rules and scoring (two and three pointers). Winners will move to the next court to face another player, so while pure hoops ability is essential, strategy and endurance will also play a major role in overall victory.
Players have to be tough to make it to The Rock, but must also play smart, as five fouls equal an automatic loss. Qualifiers will contain four intense half-court games going on simultaneously, until all eyes are on the final game.
Respect will be earned and feelings will be hurt, but there can only be one King, so out of the 64 finalists, only one player will be crowned Red Bull King of the Rock.
Red Bull King of the Rock is open to amateurs and pros alike, however players must be 16 years of age or older to participate. Participants under the age of 18 will need to have a parent or guardian present to sign a waiver at the qualifier.
Registration is first come first served at each qualifier, so players should arrive early to grab one of the coveted 64 spots.