Basketball Australia and the National Basketball League (NBL) have joined forces to bring 3×3 basketball to all Australians with the unveiling of the 3×3 Hustle.
With 3×3 a major player on the international sporting landscape and an Olympic sport for the first time in Tokyo in 2020, the 3×3 Hustle will provide a pathway for aspiring players to go from the suburbs of Australia to competing on the world stage.
The 2008 AFL Brownlow Medalist Adam Cooney and Opals player and Melbourne Boomers Captain Jenna O’Hea were among those who joined representatives from Basketball Australia and the NBL at today’s announcement.
Basketball Australia Chair Ned Coten said the 3×3 Hustle would be the first professionally operated 3×3 product in Australia.
“This is a major development for Australian sport. The 3×3 Hustle is a unique opportunity to bring to life a game that all Australians can play and enjoy from street level to the elite level,” he said.
“The 3×3 Hustle will open up basketball to a new group of players and fans who will embrace a fast, energetic and exciting form of the game.
“Basketball is booming in Australia with over one million people playing the sport, our national teams are winning medals all over the world and our Australian Boomers are the Kings of Asia having won the FIBA Asia Cup this year.
“We’ve just completed a successful WNBL Season and interest in the game is unprecedented. The 3×3 Hustle will not only grow participation and awareness but also create a pathway for athletes to represent Australia at the Olympic Games.”
NBL Owner and Executive Chairman Larry Kestelman said: “This is an exciting time for Australian basketball. The NBL is one of the best leagues in the world, we have a record number of Australians playing in the NBA and interest in the game has never been higher.
“In another first for basketball, tonight the NBL will stage a game between Melbourne United and Cairns Taipans at Australia’s biggest sporting event the Australian Open.
“Importantly the sport is united and we are proud to be working with Basketball Australia to build what is a really exciting and innovative initiative for basketball in this country.
“We want to attract not just the best athletes to the sport but males and females of all ages around Australia who can enjoy the newest form of the game.”
NBL Chief Executive Jeremy Loeliger said: “The recent growth of the NBL has been all about entertainment and people having a good time. The 3×3 Hustle will give us an entirely new platform to take the entertainment factor to another level, while also making the game more accessible than it has ever been.
“It’s a sport that has its roots on urban streets but has become truly global. We now have a unique opportunity to put on an incredible show, but one that will lead all the way to the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.”
The 3×3 Hustle will have a number of entry levels from street level to the professional level. The Pro Hustle will consist of 16 men’s and women’s teams and will be played in April/May this year.
It will consist of eight professional teams and eight teams from the Big Hustle, a state based 3×3 championship to be played in the lead-up to the Pro Hustle.
There will also be a Street Hustle comprising of suburban teams and Urban Hustle made up of regional teams.
The 3×3 Hustle will be endorsed by FIBA with all events giving participants FIBA 3×3 World ranking points. Each team consists of three players and one substitute and is played on a half-court, with one basket. The game is a single period of 10 minutes with sudden death at 21 points.
For more information, visit www.3x3hustle.com.