As sports fans grip with the suspension of the NBA due to the coronavirus outbreak, the league has done its best to fill the basketball-sized void. On Thursday, it announced the latest part of that initiative: a HORSE competition.

The league will host its first-ever HORSE Challenge with eight players from the NBA and WNBA participating in a single-elimination tournament. On behalf of the participants, sponsor State Farm is donating $200,000 to charities assisting those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Wizards forward Paul Pierce is among the NBA’s representatives, which also include Trae Young, Chris Paul, Mike Conley Jr., Zach LaVine and Chauncey Billups. Three-time WNBA All-Star Allie Quigley and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member Tamika Catchings round out the field.

There are a few rules. Dunking won’t be allowed, and players must call the type of shot they’re taking before shooting—such as bank or swish. A coin flip will determine which player shoots first, with the elder player calling heads or tails.


On April 12, four quarterfinal matchups will be played on ESPN beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Young and Billups will open up the competition, followed by Catchings vs. Conley Jr., LaVine vs. Pierce and Paul vs. Quigley. The semifinal and championship matchups will then be played April 16.

It’s no NBA playoff game, but basketball fans will take what they can get amid the state of the world. As the league continues to monitor the situation and examine ways to salvage the 2019-20 season, fans have this HORSE competition to help get them through this global pandemic.


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