Ex-Eastern Washington standout Jesse Hunt teams up with Big Sky rivals at 3X3U National Championship in Minneapolis
Classes are about to end for former Eastern Washington swingman Jesse Hunt, and like most soon-to-be college graduates, he could use a few extra bucks.
He’s in a position to win thousands.
The All-Big Sky Conference forward is in Minneapolis for Final Four weekend, competing in the 3X3U National Championship inside the Mall of America.
Winner of the 3-on-3 tournament gets a $100,000 grand prize. Each tournament win nets a team $1,000.
The tournament that began Friday night features 32 teams, each representing an NCAA Division I conference. The players have all recently exhausted their college eligibility.
Hunt is on the Big Sky team along with guard Brandon Better (Southern Utah), forward Brekkott Chapman (Weber State) and guard Marcus Graves (Sacramento State).
Each game is broadcast live on the 3X3U Twitter page. The Big Sky faces the Ivy League on Saturday at 10:10 a.m., followed by a game against the Big Ten team at 3 p.m.
Hunt’s team begins pool play Friday against the Horizon League at 8:50 p.m.
The last time Hunt saw Better, he and the Eagles knocked Southern Utah out of the Big Sky Tournament in Boise last month. A week before that win, Hunt handed Chapman and Weber State a senior night loss in Ogden, Utah.
Graves gave Hunt his only career loss to Sacramento State in late February.
“We’ve just been sharing stories all week about playing each other,” Hunt said. “We did it for four years, so there’s plenty. It’s been fun getting to know them.”
They went to the Slam Dunk & 3-point Championships on Thursday to watch former Northern Colorado star Jordan Davis in the dunk contest.
Hunt, whose Eagles fell a game short of reaching the NCAA tournament for the second straight year, recently hired former EWU star Alvin Snow as his agent.
Hunt hopes to play professionally in either Australia or Europe and plans to workout with former EWU stars Jacob Wiley and Bogdan Bliznyuk – both playing overseas – this summer in Seattle.
The 3X3U is keeping him in shape.
Playing by FIBA rules, the games are only 10-minutes long but are continuously moving, featuring a 12-second shot clock with no breaks between buckets.
“It’s very fast-paced, the only stoppage is if it goes out of bounds,” said the 6-foot-7 Hunt. “We’re probably going to sub after every dead ball.”
Hunt has gone to school miles down the road from the world’s biggest 3-on-3 tournament, Spokane’s Hoopfest, for the last four years, but has yet to play. He’s considering playing in the elite division this summer.
Two weeks after playing in the NCAA Tournament, ex-Washington guard and Renton, Washington product Dominic Green is on the Pac-12’s 3X3U team.