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 Olympic event. And now anyone has the chance to play for the honor of representing the United States in international competition. Every year, winners of the annual USA Basketball Women's 3x3 U18 National Championship have the opportunity to represent the U.S. in an international 3x3 competition, should the U.S. qualify. To get there, the first step is playing in a local tournament, where winners can advance to the USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championship. This year's USA 3x3 U18 National Championship, which will see a team advance to compete in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, will be held March 23-25 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. If there’s not a local 3x3 tournament in your area, you can go ahead and create one.
The FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup has been held on an annual basis since 2011, except in the years of the Summer Youth Olympic Games (2010, 2014, 2018, etc.). Twenty men’s and 20 women’s teams are expected to compete in the 2019 event that is being held June 18-23 in Amsterdam, Nethrlands. In addition to the men’s and women’s 3x3 tournaments, included in the 2019 3x3 U18 World Cup program will be skills contests, giving athletes chances to win additional medals.
Past USA 3x3 U18 players of note include: Janelle Bailey (2017), Napheesa Collier (2014), Kaela Davis (2011, 2012), Aquira DeCosta (2017), Diamond DeShields (2012), Arike Ogunbowale (2013, 2014), Katie Lou Samuelson (2013, 2014), Kiah Stokes (2010), Brianna Turner (2012, 2013).