New Zealand will join the FIBA 3X3 worldwide craze this summer, with a series of tournaments around the country’s hoops hotbeds.
Basketball New Zealand today announced a new four-year partnership with long-time supporter of the sport, Burger King. Together, they launched the Burger King 3X3 National Tour.
This is a chance for the country’s emerging athletes – and not just hoopsters – to show their skills in basketball’s equivalent of sevens rugby or T20 cricket.
“Basketball has become a staple part of New Zealand’s sporting culture,” says Basketball New Zealand chief executive Iain Potter.
“Statistics show that basketball is the leading participation sport for Kiwis aged 5-18, but not all of them play in formal competitions.
“We hope this tour will encourage those on the periphery of our sport to enter with their mates and take part at a competitive level.”
“As well as this participation component, there’s an elite element that will attract much interest. The Burger King 3X3 National Tour will form the basis for Basketball New Zealand to select a men’s national under 18 3X3 team to play at the 2014 Youth Olympics in China and a men’s side to play at the world championship in Russia next year.”
“We’re thrilled to continue our relationship with Basketball New Zealand and help bring a 3X3 circuit to New Zealand,” says Burger King chief executive John Hunter.
“Burger King has enjoyed a long-standing association with basketball, and we know our customers recognise and appreciate that relationship. The opportunity to be associated with introducing the global 3X3 phenomenon to Kiwis around the country during the summer is something Burger King is really looking forward to.”
3X3 is a form of the game where New Zealand has already enjoyed success – Tall Blacks Isaac Fotu, Reuben Te Rangi and Tai Webster combined to help capture the inaugural FIBA Youth 3X3 World Championship in 2011.
So, with FIBA pushing for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics, this format represents perhaps an even better chance for our basketballers to end up on the podium.
Year one will take in 10 events, which will expand to 12 centres in its second year and 14 in year three.
The circuit will eventually also include community-based events in the host centres.
The 2014 Burger King 3X3 National Tour schedule is:
Saturday 25 January Manukau Otara Flea Market Carpark
Saturday 1 February Waitakere Waitakere Netball Centre
Thursday 6 February Hawke’s Bay Hawke’s Bay Sports Park, Hastings
Saturday 8 February Tauranga The Strand Car Park
Saturday15 February Christchurch Hagley Park Netball Courts
Sunday 16 February Dunedin Forsyth Bar Stadium
Saturday 22 February North Shore Westlake Girls High School
Saturday 1 March Porirua Mungavin Netball Courts
Saturday 15 March Hamilton Waikato University Tennis Courts
Saturday 29 March Auckland Aotea Square