Rosters Finalized On Eve Of 2017 USA Basketball 3x3 National Tournaments
Rosters for 14 of the 38 teams competing in the 2017 USA Basketball 3x3 National Tournaments, featuring competition divisions for open men, open women, U18 men and U18 women, have been amended and the tournament field is now finalized on the eve of the tournament’s opening tip-off. Scheduled to be held April 8-9 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, this year marks the first time that USA Basketball will hold both the open and U18 tournaments on the same weekend. Also new this year, USA Basketball for the first time will live stream each division’s championship games on usab.com/live, beginning at 1:30 pm EST on April 9.
There is no age limit for athletes competing in the open division. In the U18 division athletes must be 18 years old or younger (born on or after 1/1/99). Athletes who advance to represent USA Basketball in the 2017 FIBA 3x3 World Cup for Men or 2017 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup for Women must be U.S. citizens.
Not only is a USA Basketball national 3x3 title on the line for all four winning teams, there is an extra incentive at stake for participants of the USA 3x3 Men’s National Tournament and USA 3x3 U18 Women’s National Tournament. The winning men’s team will be crowned as the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s 3x3 World Cup Team and will have the opportunity to represent the United States at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup, held June 17-21 in Nantes, France. The winning U18 women’s team will be crowned as the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s 3x3 U18 World Cup Team and will have the opportunity to represent the United States at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup, held June 28-July 2 in Chengdu, China.
Both the open and U18 3x3 tournaments will feature between eight and 12 teams competing for their respective championship title. Teams will be split into two groups for preliminary round play, held Saturday, April 8, with the championship round to be held on Sunday, April 9.
Under FIBA’s 3x3 rules, each game consists of one 10-minute period. The team leading after completion of regular playing time, or the first team to score 21 points is declared the winner. If the game ends in a tie, the first team to score two points in overtime earns the victory. Shots made outside the arc are awarded two points, shots made inside the arc are awarded one point and each made free throw is worth one point. Additionally, a 12-second shot clock is utilized.
In addition to the USA 3x3 National Tournament rosters announced March 23, the men’s 12-team field has been filled out by two teams from 3BALL, including 3BALL Premier’s 2016 USA 3x3 World Championship Team silver medalists Myke Henry (Chicago, Ill.) and Alfonzo McKinnie (Chicago, Ill.), as well as Quinton Chievous (Chicago, Ill.) and Jon Octeus (Miami, Fla.). 3BALL Select features Ferrakohn Hall (Memphis, Tenn.), Wesley Saunders (West Adams, Calif.), Zak Showalter (Germantown, Wis.) and Aaron Thomas (Cincinnati, Ohio). Further, Bliss replaced Steven Winters (El Paso, Texas) with Joshua Dean (Memphis, Tenn.); NYC filled out its roster with Kevin Douglas (Bronx, N.Y.) and Lowell Ulmer (Queens, N.Y.). The Attack replaced the Des Moines Lions Club team and includes Wesley Marsh (Phoenix, Ariz.), Christopher Robles (Phoenix, Ariz.), Alexander Sims (Gilbert, Ariz.) and Joseph Strunk (Phoenix, Ariz.).
As part of a pilot program to help increase the number of women competing in 3x3, USA Basketball invited teams from the Pacific-12 Conference, and the 2017 USA Basketball 3x3 National Tournament for Women nine-team field has been rounded out by teams from University of California and University of Washington. Also, expected to compete are previously announced teams from University of Colorado, University of Oregon, University of Southern California and Washington State University
Representing the Golden Bears are 2014 USA U17 and 2015 USA U19 gold medalist Kristine Anigwe (Phoenix, Ariz.), who also claimed a silver medal playing for the 2015 USA 3x3 U18 World Championship Team, as well as Mi’Cole Cayton (Stockton, Calif.), Mikayla Cowling (Benicia, Calif.) and Asha Thomas (Oakland, Calif.). Representing the Huskies are Mai-Loni Henson (San Diego, Calif.), Amber Melgoza (Santa Barbara, Calif.), 2016 USA 3x3 World Championship Team bronze medalist Natalie Romeo (Martinez, Calif.) and Deja Strother (Kenmore, Wash.). Additionally, Oregon’s Justine Hall (Centennial, Colo.) replaced Sabrina Ionescu (Walnut Creek, Calif.).
Roster changes have been made to four teams in the now nine-team field for the 2017 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournament for Men, after the withdrawal of Champions. 2Hard2Guard has added Ian DeLuca (Clinton Township, Mich.) to its roster, Four Musketeers saw the addition of Michael Molloy (Chicago, Ill.), OVE added Nick Holmes (Denver, Colo.), and Western PA Elite Gold rounded out its team with the addition of Turner Kurt (Cambridge Springs, Pa.) and Holden Lipke (Youngstown, Ohio).
Three of the eight teams competing in the 2017 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournament for Women added teammates. Francesca Belibi (Aurora, Colo.) is the fourth athlete on Denver, Meleah Morgan (El Paso, Texas) rounds out Elite Force and Hailey Zeise (Pittsburgh, Pa.) replaced Laryn Edwards (Pittsburgh, Pa.) on Western PA Elite.
This year will mark the sixth annual USA 3x3 National Tournament, which was first held in 2012. Last year’s champions in the men’s tournament, 3Ball Premier, made history at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup after capturing the silver medal – marking the USA’s first medal of any kind at the men’s tournament – while the women’s team, Defend, claimed the bronze medal.
2017 also marks the sixth annual USA 3x3 U18 National Tournament. USA 3x3 Women’s U18 National Tournament winners have gone on to capture three gold medals (2012, 2013, 2014) and two silver medals (2015, 2016) in FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016) and Youth Olympic Games (2014) competitions, while the men’s U18 winners claimed silver in 2012.