The NBL 3x3Hustle will play a vital role for Australia as experience and ranking points continue to be collated while the success of teams through that pathway has seen them travel the globe to compete against the best in the world.
“As a basketball nation, Australia has batted well above its average for years as a country of only 25 million people in male, female, able-bodied and disabled competition,” said National 3x3 Pathway Manager, David Biwer.
“After the European nations got the jump on us in the 3x3 space, we are quickly making up ground and the implementation of the NBL 3x3 Hustle will help us as we get set for this exciting series of upcoming international competitions.”
An Australian men’s team has already qualified and the women’s team has been offered a wildcard for the FIBA 3x3 World Cup qualifier in Puerto Rico next May.
If they finish in a top-three position at that tournament, they will advance to the 2019 FIBA 3x3 World Cup in Amsterdam the following month.
Another top-three finish there will see Australia placed as one of 20 teams to compete at a qualifying tournament for the final three spots at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The team for the FIBA 3x3 World Cup qualifier next May will be selected following a series of NBL 3x3 Pro Hustle’s starting next March.
The NBL 3x3 Pro Hustle events will see the top men's and women's teams gain qualification into the 3x3 FIBA Pro Circuit. These teams will then have the opportunity to play in Asia and Europe against the best teams from around the world.
"This truly is an exciting time for basketball in Australia," said NBL Chief Operating Officer, Andy Crook.
"We belive that 3x3Hustle has the chance to substantially grow the game of basketball in Australia by providing a pathway from grassroots to the world stage."
During this time, a national women’s team will also be identified as they begin the path to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Commonwealth Games by playing in the NBL's 3x3Hustle to qualify for FIBA’s first professional women’s 3x3 league.
As well as debuting as an Olympic sport in 2020, 3x3 basketball will be featured as a Commonwealth Games event for the first time ever in 2022.
The fast-paced and shorter format of game as well as the strong competition that Australia will encounter means they will face a hard road to the podium as 3x3 basketball becomes the only format of the sport to be played at the Commonwealth Games.