menu close twitter facebook snapchat instagram youtube article basketball gallery graph left-arrow right-arrow search star trophy video net clipboard shield-check shield-star stopwatch

Building Momentum For USA Participation In 3x3 Tournaments

  • Date:
    Feb 23, 2015

Playing a 3x3 pickup basketball game seems like a quintessential American pastime, and it is. But 3x3 basketball also is a reflection of the ever-expanding globalization of the sport.

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) first introduced 3x3 basketball as a sanctioned sport at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and has held 3x3 events yearly since then. FIBA in fact has publicly stated that it would like to see 3x3 basketball added to the competitions held during the Summer Olympic Games. The growth in 3x3 popularity around the world has led to more countries participating in the game.

“I love basketball whether it’s 1x1, 2x2, 3x3, 5x5 -- it doesn’t really matter,” said USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo. “But when you think about how many of us learned the game on the playgrounds, a lot of it was 3x3. ... It’s a different game in the sense that it takes a unique set of skills to be competitive in international competition. It’s exciting, it’s short, it’s quick. And I think the more competition we can develop within the game of basketball, such as 3x3, it’s going to serve our purposes as it relates to growing our game.”

While USA Basketball teams dominated international competition in 2014, winning gold at every level of play, it might be surprising to note where the USA stands in FIBA’s current 3x3 rankings:

USA 3x3 Overall Rankings

Men - 3rd

Women - 6th

U18 Men - 9th

U18 Women - 5th

That’s because FIBA’s 3x3 rankings are all about player registration and participation. According to FIBA, the USA has hosted 30 FIBA-sanctioned 3x3 tournaments in the past 12 months – 12th-most in the world and fewer than half as many as the top-ranked country, Romania (67 events).

The USA ranks fourth with 3,316 registered 3x3 men and women players, behind Turkey (3,357), Hungary (3,900) and Indonesia (8,449).

“In the long run, the dominance of USA Basketball in the world is great for USA Basketball. But it’s also important for other countries to come and be more competitive, so that they can have an opportunity to win in international competition,” said Colangelo. “3x3 is a game that has allowed small countries (to succeed) – it doesn’t matter how big or strong or wealthy your national board is as it relates to promoting the game in your respective country. There’s a chance for them to win, and it’s already been proven that’s exactly what takes place.

“3x3 has been a tremendous gateway for the game in many of the smaller countries.”

While playing 3x3 takes place daily on basketball courts around the country, organized 3x3 tournaments in the United States are growing.

“We want USA Basketball to be the place people come to learn more about 3x3 and where they can participate,” said Travis Johnson, USA Basketball’s 3x3 program director. “We want to keep building that momentum of playing 3x3 so we qualify for future FIBA 3x3 competitions.” 

The first international 3x3 competition of 2015 will be the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships for Men and Women, June 4-7 in Debrecen, Hungary. The USA men’s and women’s representatives in that competition will be determined by the USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournament, held April 30-May 3 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

That said, the FIBA 3x3 rankings determine whether or not a country qualifies to be in FIBA’s 3x3 world championships. So the team that wins the national tournament still must rely on participation from teams around the country.

Simply put, said Johnson, “The more people who are playing 3x3, the higher your country is ranked.”

***

For more information on how you can get involved in 3x3 with USA Basketball and beyond, click here. And follow USA Basketball 3x3 on Twitter at @usab3x3 and #USAB3x3.

 

 

Related Videos

USA Basketball Women's 3x3 U18 World Championship Team member Sidney Cooks discusses her experience with 3x3 basketball and her fellow teammates. The FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship takes place in Astana, Kazakhstan on June 1-5. 2016

USA Basketball Women's 3x3 U18 World Championship Team member Jaelyn Brown discusses her teammates and what she thinks is the biggest challenge in 3x3 basketball. The FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship takes place in Astana, Kazakhstan on June 1-5. 2016

FIBA has released the #1 player per country and gender for the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 and it includes USA Basketball's own 3-time medalist for 3x3, Arike Ogunbowale!

Although Erin Boley (Elizabethtown H.S/Hodgenville, KY) was a late add to the USA 3x3 U18 World Championship Team, her ability to contribute wasn't in question, not after earning MVP honors at the 2015 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournament.

Related Content

  • Author:
    Jimena Panduro
  • Date:
    Mar 21, 2018

A game of pickup hoops between friends is a rich tradition and a common form of entertainment around the world. As its popularity continues to grow, FIBA introduced 3x3 competitions in 2010 and propelled this one-time recreational activity into not only an internationally recognized game, but an...

  • Author:
    Jimena Panduro
  • Date:
    Mar 19, 2018

Since the first FIBA-organized international 3x3 event at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, the standard set of rules for the game has evolved, and along the way the rules have continued to challenge athletes to become better basketball players.  As the game matured, throughout World Cups and...

Images from the medal ceremony following the USA 3x3 U18 World Cup Team's gold medal victory.

With a pair of wins over Switzerland (2-2) 19-11 and Australia (2-2) 20-11 on July 1, the USA Women’s 3x3 U18 World Cup Team advanced to the quarterfinal knockout round of the 2017 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup in Chengdu, China.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login



Forgot Password?