On September 18, basketball superstar Rajon Rondo will be bringing “the rock” to The Rock. The all-star guard will set foot on the infamous island to host the finals of Red Bull King of the Rock, a one-on-one basketball tournament that will culminate with a showdown in The Yard of the former prison.
Those wanting to reach the hallowed grounds of Alcatraz must earn their spot through one of six qualifier tournaments that kick off starting July 17 in Los Angeles. After Los Angeles, additional qualifiers will take place in San Diego, Phoenix, Seattle, San Francisco and Oakland. Sixty-four finalists will emerge from these six qualifiers and meet at one of the world’s most iconic locations for the final battle. In the end, there can be only one King, so out of the 64 finalists, only one will be crowned “King of the Rock.”
Of all the places you could play a game of basketball, Alcatraz has got to be one of the wildest. - Rajon Rondo
As the first official sporting event ever held on Alcatraz, Red Bull King of the Rock will be the first time a basketball has hit the hard concrete of The Rock since the inmates left the island nearly 50 years ago. Rajon Rondo shared his excitement at being involved with the project: “I’m really looking forward to making basketball history with this event. Of all the places you could play a game of basketball, Alcatraz has got to be one of the wildest. It’s really going to be exciting to see what goes down on The Rock on September 18.”
Both the Qualifiers and the Finals on Alcatraz will follow a straightforward concept where players go head-to-head in raw outdoor basketball, using a single-elimination tournament bracket. Games will last five minutes and be subject to regulation hoops rules and scoring (two and three pointers). Players have to be tough to make it to The Rock, but must also play smart – five fouls equals an automatic loss. After each game, the loser walks, and the winner must remain on the court to immediately face his next opponent. Thus, the more a player wins, the longer he plays. So while pure hoops ability is essential, endurance will also play a major role in overall victory.
- July 17 - Los Angeles, Westchester Recreation Center
- July 24 - San Diego, Embarcadero Marina Park South
- July 31 - Phoenix, Grayhawk Park in North Scottsdale
- August 7 - Seattle, Seattle Center Courts
- August 28 - San Francisco, Panhandle Park Courts in Golden Gate Park
- September 11 - Oakland, Mosswood Park
- September 18 - San Francisco, The Yard on Alcatraz