Brian Custer Previews a Big Night of BIG3 Basketball in the Motor City

Ezra Shaw/BIG3/Getty Images
James White #8 of Trilogy goes up for a shot against Jason Maxiell #54 of 3's Company during Week 3 of the BIG3 three-on-three basketball league game at ORACLE Arena on July 6, 2018 in Oakland, California.

The BIG3 is in Detroit tonight, and we’re not talking about auto companies.

BIG3, the professional 3-on-3, half-court basketball league cofounded by rapper/actor Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, is touring the country this summer. The eight-team league, made up mostly of former NBA players coached by some of the greatest names in basketball, is enjoying a big rise in its second season.

Whether it’s because of nostalgia, an insatiable hunger for hoops, a desire for something different or an unsatisfying conclusion to the NBA season, BIG3 has stepped up for fans of the game.

“When you get an NBA Finals where you kind of knew what was going to happen, you want something to fill that void,” says Fox Sports’ BIG3 announcer Brian Custer.

“And why not [fill it] with professional basketball from guys you grew up watching or guys who just played in the league who are playing competitive basketball? It’s exciting. The way they have it set up is fan-friendly, especially from a TV standpoint.”

BIG3 heads to Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit for Week 4 on Friday with action tipping off in the first game at 6/5c on Facebook Watch. Action switches over to FS1 and the Fox Sports app at 7/6c for the remaining three games of the night.

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Detroit will host a matchup of 3-0 teams as Tri-State takes on the 3 Headed Monsters. Coached by basketball legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Tri-State features Jermaine O’Neal, Amar’e Stoudemire, Nate Robinson and David Hawkins. Gary Payton coaches the 3 Headed Monsters, starring Reggie Evans, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Jamario Moon and Kwame Brown.

“Tri-State has just looked good,” Custer says. “Dr. J’s got his team playing very good, and I think that they’ll probably be the favorites going into the game.”

While there are no home teams in BIG3, fans at the arenas still find plenty of guys to root for. “It’s like every city we go to, there are some players or coaches that have a connection to that city.” Detroit Pistons legend Rick Mahorn coaches Trilogy, and former Pistons Chauncey Billups (Killer 3s) and Jason Maxiell (3’s Company) will be fan favorites on Friday night.

The remainder of the BIG3 season schedule on Fox Sports and Facebook Watch:

WEEK 4 July 13: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Facebook Watch/FS1, 6/5c
WEEK 5 July 20: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Facebook Watch/FS1, 8/7c
WEEK 6 July 27: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Facebook Watch/FS1, 8/7c
WEEK 7 August 3: TD Garden, Boston, Facebook Watch/FS1, 8/7c
WEEK 8 August 10: Infinite Energy Arena, Atlanta, Facebook Watch/FS1, 8/7c
WEEK 9 (Playoffs) August 17: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Fox, 8/7c
WEEK 10 (Championship) August 24: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., Fox, 8/7c