Growing up, many athletes watch the Olympics and dream of one day competing on the world stage and winning gold medals. In 2010, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) created an opportunity for young athletes to achieve that dream, and the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) launched that year in Singapore. Following in the footsteps of its older sibling, the YOGs are held every four years and feature both summer (2018, 2022, etc.) and winter editions (2016, 2020, etc.).
The 2018 Youth Olympic Games will be held Oct. 6-18, 2018, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Featuring athletes age 15-18, it is anticipated that the 2018 YOGs will have representation from 206 different countries in 28 sports, including 3x3 basketball.
Argentina, as the host nation, and Belgium, by virtue of its gold medal finish at the 2017 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup, were assured a spot in the men’s 3x3 YOG tournament. The remaining 18 places were allocated based on the FIBA world ranking as of April 1, 2018, and include: Andorra, Brazil, China, Estonia, Georgia, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Russia, Slovenia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, USA and Venezuela.
The USA women in 2014 captured gold at the second edition of the Youth Olympic Games, while the USA did not qualify a 3x3 U18 team for the men's tournament. The next Youth Olympic Games will be held Oct. 6-18, 2018, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and USA Basketball is hoping to return both men and women's team to the prestigious event.