With the unbelievable growth in popularity of 3x3 basketball globally, what used to be a simple half-court pickup game is now an officially sanctioned event. And now anyone has the chance to play for the honor of representing the United States in international competition. In 2019 the USA Basketball Men's 3x3 World Cup Team captured the USA's first men's gold medal in 3x3 international competition. In order to have an opportunity to represent the U.S. in FIBA 3x3 competitions, athletes must qualify for the Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals. To get there, the first step is playing in a local tournament, where winners can advance to regional competitions and then to the nationals. If there’s not a local 3x3 tournament in your area, you can go ahead and create one.
The popularity of -- and participation in -- 3x3 basketball continues to grow around the world. With international competitions drawing more and more interest, 3x3 basketball for the first time will officially be included in the sport program at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
USA Basketball fielded a men's team in the first four FIBA 3x3 Men's World Cups held, compiling a 16-9 overall record since 2012. In its most impressive showing, the 2016 USA men's team rolled to a perfect 6-0 record to advance to the gold medal game, but fell 21-16 to Serbia. However, it marked the USA's first medal of any kind at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup.