BELMONT, Calif., Oct. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- 3BALL Association today announced that the undefeated men's USA Basketball 3x3 National Team is headed to China to compete as one of 20 international qualifiers in the 2016 FIBA 3x3 World Championships in Guangzhou, China, October 11 – 15. The entire tournament will be live-streamed on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube channel beginning at 11:00pm PT tonight.
3x3 is a popular version of basketball played on a half-court with one basket and three players on each side. FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, has made an official request for 3x3 to be added to the Olympic program as soon as the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The USA Basketball 3x3 National Team completed its final preparations in a mini-training camp at Stanford University over the weekend. The #4-seeded USA team will put its perfect 22-0 record on the line against the world's best, beginning with a key match against the #5-seeded Netherlands squad at midnight PT, 3am ET on Tuesday.
"We all know 3 on 3 basketball as a participation sport, but '3x3' is a new version of the game that makes it a relentlessly entertaining spectator sport as well," said Michael Wranovics, 3BALL Association's founder and chief executive officer. "Fast-paced, intense and delivering non-stop action, FIBA's innovative 3x3 format and game rules transform the game of basketball into a uniquely immersive experience."
USA Men's Team
The four-man roster of the USA 3x3 men's team features Stefhon Hannah, Myke Henry, and Alfonzo McKinnie, all from Chicago, and Kavon Lytch of New York. Lytch replaces DeAndre Liggins of Chicago, who became unavailable when he was signed by the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
"I have fallen in love with the 3x3 game, and I consider myself blessed to be playing for the USA National Team," said Henry, who will be looking for his third consecutive MVP award in 3x3. "This has opened up a whole new world of basketball for me and my teammates, and now we get to take our show on the road to China. The MVP honors have been amazing, but what really matters is bringing home the Gold."
Among followers of FIBA 3x3, the USA team has built a reputation for its winning ways and for being the most exciting, athletic 3x3 team in the world. Making their debut on July 30, the USA men have swept the field in all four tournaments in which they have competed. According to basketball experts who have seen the team in action, this is the best chance USA Basketball has ever had to win a medal in FIBA 3x3.
Explosive Growth Worldwide
3x3 has an enormous grassroots following in the U.S. and is growing rapidly as a spectator sport all over the world. In 2007, FIBA, the international federation that oversees basketball, identified 3x3 as a potential catalyst for the growth of basketball worldwide and made the promotion of 3x3 a top priority. In 2012, FIBA unveiled its globally integrated 3x3 competition network and launched the FIBA 3x3 World Championships and a professional season named the FIBA 3x3 World Tour. Today, 3x3 is considered the number one urban team sport in the world.
"We have been promoting 3x3 globally because we see it as an integral part of basketball's future," said Alex Sanchez, managing director of FIBA 3x3. "We have been very impressed with the USA team's performance to date, not to mention their style of play, and look forward to seeing what they can accomplish on the world stage."
Watch the games on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/FIBA3x3
The 40 teams competing in China this week represent the top 20 men's and top 20 women's teams in the world. After their opening game against The Netherlands, the USA men will face Turkey (#13), Japan (#12), and tournament host China (#20). As long as the USA is one of the top two teams coming out of its five-team pool, it will qualify for the "Knockout Round" on Saturday, October 15, where they are likely to face #1-seeded Serbia, the team that has dominated international 3x3 for the past four years. Other top seeds include #2 Slovenia, which won the 2016 3x3 European Championships, and #3 Poland. The World Championship Final will be held on Saturday, October 15 at 9:00pm local time in Guangzhou (6:00am PT).
The World Championships men's final will be held outside the Tianhe Sport Complex with a view of the iconic 600-meter-high Canton Tower (equivalent to 180 stories high).
FIBA (fiba.com) - the world governing body for basketball - is an independent association formed by 215 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognized as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
About 3BALL Association
Founded in 2015, 3BALL Association was formed to lead the 3x3 movement in the United States. The company will be producing professional 3x3 tournaments across the country, beginning in Summer 2017.
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SOURCE 3BALL Association