Botswana will host the first ever Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) 3x3 tournament from February 20 to March 30 at the Stanbic Molapo Piazza.
In a 3x3 game, each side fields three players who use half the basketball court.
Hoop City and Botswana Basketball Association have made next month’s tournament possible.
Addressing a press briefing Hoop City managing director, Batho-Batho Moeketsi said the event was open to all players from amateurs to professionals. Ten teams from both men and women, would participate in the junior categories being the Under-13, 15 and 18 while for seniors the teams would be 12. Moeketsi said interested individuals could register online at www.3x3planet.com.
“However, registration is already fully booked for the men’s seniors section with a few slots left on the women’s section. For the juniors it’s still open, there is no registration fee required,” he said.
A number of national team players will participate. The men’s open winners would have an opportunity to play at the Africa FIBA International 3x3 Basketball Championships in April.
If they reach the quarterfinals, that would mean they proceed to the World Championships. FIBA International 3x3 Basketball tournament is now part of the BBA calendar. BBA president, Thulaganyo Jankey said this was a positive development for basketball.
“FIBA International 3x3 Basketball tournament will increase interest
He said the tournament was also a development tool as it would engage players from a young age rather than the current crop, which usually starts playing at 16 years of age.
This format of basketball was first introduced in the country two years ago during the Africa Youth Games. Starting from next year, the tourney will rove among different cities and towns, with Francistown and Maun being the next to hosts.
Tickets for the FIBA International 3x3 Basketball are available at Web tickets for P60. Meanwhile, BBA has announced a raft of changes meant to spruce up the local league.
The committee intends to raise sponsorship for the league and turn it professional. The BBA wants to offer growth strategies for the league by spreading it to other centres outside Gaborone.
He pointed out that these mandates have different benefits such as players playing in a broader structure and also have professional basketball facilities.
“Professional basketball league will produce a minimum of 400 new jobs including but not limited to players, coaches, administration staff, sales and marketing,” Jankey said.