June 2022, Articles

3x3 Basketball to go to the next level

This year’s Commonwealth Games is the perfect platform to showcase one of the fastest growing sports in New Zealand when it becomes one of the new Games sports making an appearance in Birmingham, replacing the more traditional 5x5.

According to Basketball New Zealand’s High Performance Director, Leonard King, 3×3 Basketball will excite sports lovers in this country and around the world and the recent funding boost provided by HPSNZ will help 3×3 in New Zealand go to the next level.

3×3 Basketball has been one of the beneficiaries of the HPSNZ Aspirational Fund which has provided a lifeline for the short format of the game, says Leonard.

“There have been many character building moments in the past when our limited financial resources have meant we’ve had to ask players and coaches to help fund National team activities.  HPSNZ’s Aspirational Fund has provided our 3×3 National teams with international exposure opportunities, competing against some of the best players which is critical to our national teams’ ongoing development and will be a key to our success in Birmingham.”

New Zealand teams have always punched above their weight on the global stage and this will be the same in 3×3 Basketball according to Leonard.

“New Zealanders’ play with flair, with passion and an aggressiveness that is a very real competitive advantage for us.  While we have a small population to tap into compared with big countries like the United States and France, we believe the best three to four basketballers in New Zealand can compete successfully against the best in the world.”

Basketball New Zealand is confident its 3×3 teams can stand on the podium at the end of competition in Birmingham.

Just as importantly, Leonard says the 3×3 format can meet two of Basketball New Zealand’s key goals – growing the game by inspiring kids that there is a real pathway in the sport and using the country’s small population base to compete better in this version of the game than traditional 5×5 Basketball.

“I believe 3×3 has a great future here in New Zealand – it’s a consumer friendly sport, quick pace with shorter games, is very inclusive as having fewer players on the court means more touches, more shots and direct involvement for each member of the team.”

“With the investment from our partner HPSNZ we now have a fully established 3×3 national programme, and ideally we want to capitalise on the elite level exposure opportunities like the Commonwealth Games to create a new fan base, increase demand and participation in the short format game.”

Leonard says Basketball New Zealand is appreciative for all the support HPSNZ has provided along our journey.  “Their commitment and collaborative approach will help us become a powerhouse in 3×3.”