By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
NO official timeline has been given on basketball’s return to the court but the country’s governing body of the sport began a virtual learning campaign for its latest initiative.
The Bahamas Basketball Federation, along with its Family Island basketball associations, launched its “Summerfest 3-on-3 Basketball Training” this week.
The interactive course was designed to introduce interested persons to what has become the fastest growing version of the sport. Topics included the unique rules of the discipline, competition structure and other elements of participation.
The BBF previously announced its intention to host a pilot 3-on-3 basketball tournament in August that is mandated by FIBA - the governing body for basketball worldwide.
The pilot tournament will feature play in three different categories for both men and women ages 18-35, 36-45 and 46 plus.
“We’re not sure when everything will be opened, but during the month of August, we will try to play the 3-on-3 basketball tournament throughout the Bahamas,” Eugene Horton, vice president of BBF, previously told The Tribune.
“We have committee members assigned to each island, so we want to ensure that everybody is aware of the rules and regulations.”
The federation’s information campaign will ultimately culminate in a national tournament which will also double as the selection process for the country’s first 3-on-3 national team.
According to an ESSEC Business School study commissioned by the International Olympic Committee, 3x3 is the largest urban team sport in the world. It is currently being promoted and structured by FIBA, the sport’s governing body. Its primary competition is an annual FIBA 3X3 World Tour, comprising a series of Masters and one Final tournament, and awarding six-figure prize money in US dollars.
The FIBA 3x3 World Cups for men and women are the highest tournaments for national 3x3 teams. 3x3 will debut as an Olympic sport at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament will take place in Graz, Austria, May 26-30, 2021.
Forty teams (20 in each gender) coming from 36 different countries will compete at the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifier for the six tickets (3 per gender) to Tokyo.
“We just want to let people know 3-on-3 basketball is coming,” Horton said. “It’s important for players, coaches and teams to sign up and get registered with FIBA. When we had the workshop with FIBA last year, they had mandated that we start playing 3-on-3. We now have a committee to implement it.”