Former PBA star Willie Miller shoots for no less than the “King of the Rock” title when he competes against the world’s top 32 streetball players from 20 different countries in the finals slated on September 17 in Serbia.
The two-time PBA Most Valuable Player departed for Belgrade on Tuesday, serving as the country’s representative in the word’s biggest one-on-one streetball basketball competition.
The 39-year-old Miller, however, will face stiff competition in Serbia as he faces reigning champion Kivanc Dinler, who defeated 2011 and 2012 champ Hugh ‘Baby Shaq’ Jones from the U.S. last year to win back-to-back titles. Dinler will be shooting for a third straight crown.
Other nations participating in the “King of Rock” Finals include Turkey, South Africa, Netherlands, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, Kuwait, Romania, Moldova, Lithuania, Argentina, Russia, Montenegro, Estonia, Poland, Angola, Azerbaijan, Slovenia, Georgia and Lebanon.
This year’s ‘Red Bull King of the Rock’ World Finals will take place at the Mali Kalemegdan venue in Serbia’s capital. After 64 qualifying tournaments held on four continents, the one-on-one street basketball season will come to an end at the historical BC Red Star court, where basketball in Serbia was born.
Iconic locations are a trademark of the street basketball culture. After the Alcatraz prison, the Samasana Island and the rooftop of the Beykoz Leather and Shoe Factory in Istanbul, this year’s venue will bring the Serbian spirit to the event.
And with 2,500 spectators attending the last national Red Bull King of the Rock at Mali Kalemegdan, there’s no doubt about the popularity of the game in the country.
The battles take a straightforward form, where players battle head-to-head in a raw, outdoor basketball, using a single-elimination format.
Games last five minutes and are subject to regulation hoops rules and scoring (two and three pointers). Players have to be tough and play smartly – five fouls equals an automatic loss. After each game, the winner faces the next opponent.