Australia to compete in first Invitational 3-on-3 World Champs
Four athletes from the Australian Institute of Sport including Casey Samuels, sister of world champion discus thrower Dani Samuels, have been named to represent Australia at the 1st Invitational 3x3 Youth World Championship in Rimini, Italy from September 9 – 11.
Sydneysider Samuels will join Tessa Lavey of Swan Hill (VIC), Olivia Thompson from Balaklava (SA) and Darcee Garbin of Perth (WA) on the Australian team for the 3x3 tournament. AIS assistant coach Kristy Flores from Newcastle (NSW) will coach the team.
3x3 is the new global format of three-on-three basketball being developed by FIBA, the sport’s international governing body. The 3x3 Youth World Championship is an invitation-only event, and is scheduled to become an annual event with FIBA aiming to make the three-on-three format an Olympic sport by 2020.
36 boys' teams and 24 girls' teams of players aged 18 and under will face off in the sunny Italian seaside resort of Rimini, with games being played on eight covered specially designed 3x3 courts - including one high capacity centre court.
Australia was invited to send a girls’ team to the tournament and will take on sides from traditional basketball forces such as the USA, Spain, Greece, China and Russia.
Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock said the invitation to the event underlined the high regard in which Australian basketball was held.
“FIBA is investing an incredible amount of time and money in developing the three-on-three format globally and this inaugural youth world championship is an important strategic stepping stone towards what is hoped to be the eventual inclusion of 3x3 in the Olympics,” said Sengstock. “It is an honour for Australian basketball to be invited to participate in the event and really does demonstrate just how highly regarded we are as a basketballing nation.
“We have chosen four exciting young athletes from the AIS to compete and I am confident they will represent Australia extremely well on the world stage,” Sengstock added.
While showcasing top level basketball, the world championship will have a young and fresh atmosphere - reflecting both the discipline and the location - with top DJs playing music during the games, numerous skills challenges, as well as other entertainment and side activities.
The Invitational 3x3 Youth World Championship will be the second international 3x3 tournament, following last year's success of the discipline at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, where the Australian women’s team took silver.
The Australian team will depart for the world titles on 7 September.
1st Invitational 3x3 Youth World Championship
Girls' participating teams: Angola, Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, England, Germany, Greece, Guam, India, Italy, Japan, Netherland, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, USA and Venezuela.