Johnny Blacktop brings basketball back to pavement

The 3-on-3 basketball tournament returns to Caswell Park this Saturday in North Mankato, MN.

Kevin Korbel
Sports Editor

Are you in the local Mankato area this weekend, and are looking for something fun to do with you and your basketball-loving friends? Looking for a chance to possibly add another trophy to your trophy case, while maybe winning cash in the process? This event might be the one for you! 

Johnny Blacktop 3-on-3 basketball is looking for you and your friends to compete in a basketball tournament this Saturday at 10am at Caswell Park in North Mankato, MN.

Johnny Blacktop 3-on-3 basketball is an outdoor half-court basketball tournament ran by MSU alumni, Matt Bishop, where anybody aspiring to play ranging from the ages of 13 to the adult age group can compete in to play in a one-day basketball tournament for a chance to compete with local basketball talent in the local Mankato area! 

The tournament is a double-elimination tournament, which means that the brackets are set up so you and your team have more chances to win the tournament. 

“The best part of this league is the amount of games you can watch in a day,” said Matt, who also likes the pace most games go at, “games go by quick due to the rapid tempo of the game, so it’s not uncommon to watch 15-20 basketball games throughout the day.”

This tournament all started up for Matt Bishop back in 2015. Growing up in East Jordan, MI, Matt grew up playing basketball throughout his entire life.

It was when he was going to school that he ran into a local outdoor 3-on-3 basketball event in his hometown, where he eventually decides to participate in. He fell in love with the concept of the 3-on-3 tournament after competing in it for many years. 

From then on, his experience eventually inspired Matt to startup his own outdoor basketball league that has now become quite popular around the southern Minnesota area. 

His games are always played outside on pavement, which is why Matt coined the name of the tournament to be called Johnny Blacktop, because of the outdoor nature of the game. 

While the game might be outdoors, Matt has it set up to not be your same old pick-up basketball tournament. His claim to fame is having the best set of nets for an outdoor basketball game, which takes the pressure off of always having to adjust your shot to your old chain-netted hoop back at your local basketball park.

Since the tournament began, Matt has run all his tournaments in the Le Sueur and Belle Plaine, MN area.

This is his first time running a tournament in Mankato, and he’s looking in the future to branch out his tournaments in the future, including maybe hosting tournaments in the metro area soon. If he has the same turnout he’s had in years past, it’s a real possibility. 

If you’re interested in the event, sign up is quick and easy for you or a group of buddies who want to sign up to play! All you should do is go to their website at johnnyblacktop.com and click on sign up to register yourself or your team. 

Cost is $25 per person, or $100 to sign-up your four-person team, which comes with a FREE t-shirt for each person who signs up. But you must hurry fast, because spots are filling up fast!

Photo Courtesy of johnnyblacktop.com.

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