THERE will be an interesting mixture of old and new features in the five-leg AND1 Streetball Challenge series this year.
For a start, they have picked a different venue for the opening leg of the 3-on-3 basketball event on April 28 — IOI Mall in Puchong.
However, the young basketball followers will be tussling for supremacy under a familiar environment as the hosts have reverted to the previous one basket competition court set-up.
Early casualties will not be heading for early showers as the youngsters will have the opportunity to bounce back from a poor start.
Each team will engage in at least two group matches in the preliminary rounds to stay in contention before the qualifiers advance to the elimination stages.
Besides setting up stations for the NBA Beat X Box simulation games to create a more relaxed atmosphere for the participants and spectators to catch a breather in between matches, there are also the In Search of Streetballer, Best Shooter and Slam Dunk contests as side events.
They will also be visiting a new location for the third leg scheduled in the East Coast Mall in Kuantan, Pahang on July 6.
The other legs lined up include Sutera Mall, Johor (June 16), Penang Times Square (Sept 14) and Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur (Oct 20).
And they will be beginning their campaign with the launch at basketball equipment retail outlet Hoops Station in Lot 10, Kuala Lumpur on Sun.
A total of 300 teams are expected to feature in six categories — boys’ Under-13, boys’ Under-15, boys’ Under-18, girls’ Under-18, men’s Under-21 and men’s Under-25 — in the first leg of the season.
In their bid to encourage teams to sign up early, the first 100 teams to register will also be rewarded with a Kobe Bryant basketball.