3x3 OPENING UP ANOTHER AVENUE FOR KELSEY GRIFFIN

3x3 OPENING UP ANOTHER AVENUE FOR KELSEY GRIFFIN

When the first Australian 3x3 national camp took place in Melbourne last week, some of the biggest names from the WNBL, NBL and Chemist Warehouse Australian Opals were in attendance.

Bec Cole, Tim Coenraad, Monique Conti, and Lucas Walker were just some of the names at the camp and three-time WNBL Champion Kelsey Griffin joined them to get her first real look at 3x3 basketball.

While not participating on court to keep her body right ahead of WNBA training camp with the Minnesota Lynx, Griffin accepted the invitation to the 3x3 camp as her introduction to the sport.

“Being invited to the camp to be a part of the squad was pretty cool,” Griffin said.

“Anytime you get the chance to represent your country is amazing and 3x3 gives you another chance to do that.”

Griffin is coming off an incredible Chemist Warehouse WNBL season that saw her claim the 2019 Championship with the UC Capitals while winning the league MVP, Rachael Sporn Grand Final MVP and club MVP.

She led the competition at season’s end in scoring (19.7 points per game) and for rebounds (12.3) while also finishing in the top five for steals and top ten for blocks.

That performance through 2018/19 has opened up the chance to return to the WNBA and her desperation for the ball, tenacity on the glass and unwavering desire to win has also caught the eye of 3x3 coaches in Australia.

“I have been told by a few people that 3x3 is something that I should look into because of the way I play,” Griffin said.

“My size also helps and I think my game could translate really well to this format.

“I’ve been playing basketball for a while so any chance you get to learn more about the sport you love is a cool opportunity.”

During the most recent WNBL campaign, Griffin was an unstoppable force within the UC Capitals starting five with the team’s half-court offence and transition game proving to be a winning formula.

However, Griffin likes the option of relying more on her natural basketball instincts and playing without as many structures in the 3x3 game.

“3x3 is a lot more than just having two less players on court," she said.

“A lot of it is about that instant transition after a make or miss and the strategy behind that.

“My game is more of a methodical ‘make every play with a purpose’ style, but there’s not that much of that in 3x3, it is far more instinctual.”

Part of the aim of the national 3x3 selection camp was to pick a team for the FIBA 3x3 World Cup qualifier which will be held next month in Puerto Rico.

That kicks off a big few years for the sport that includes the 2019 FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup as well as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Commonwealth Games where 3x3 will make its debut.

After becoming a naturalised Australian in 2016, Griffin went on to represent the Opals at the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, where she was named tournament MVP, and the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where the Opals won gold.

Still a member of the Chemist Warehouse Australian Opals squad, Griffin has leapt at another chance to play for her country.

“Representing Australia is what I absolutely love doing, and if there’s an opportunity there, then it’s something to be excited about.”