3x3 basketball–one of the Olympic Games' newest disciplines–was on display last Sunday in the heart of the Roppongi district of Tokyo, at the conclusion of the 3X3 PREMIER.EXE 2017 season in Japan.
More than 25,000 spectators–double the number of last year–joined the event, most of them discovering 3x3 for the first time. Among them was local resident Shannon, who commented, “It is constant action and it moves very quickly; it's entertaining. The crowd is really getting into it, it's a lot of fun.”
Played on a half-sized court in the open air for a maximum of 10 minutes with a 12-second shot clock and no breaks, 3x3 showed it was ready to rock the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Played to the beat of music selected by a DJ and accompanied by cheerleaders, the event showed how it will bring a new youthful urban atmosphere to the Olympic Games.
“It's much more physical and faster, and more fun to watch,” said Luka Snoj, who plays in 3x3 PREMIER.EXE's Eastern Conference and for the Slovenian national team.
“FIBA's goal [was] to bring 3x3 to the Olympics in Tokyo 2020,” said FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann. Considered to be the number one urban team sport in the world, 3x3 Basketball is increasingly becoming a key motor for the development of basketball.
With more than 1.5 million Japanese 3x3 players, Tokyo will be the perfect host city of the discipline's first Olympic appearance. Luka Snoj is already convinced: “Japanese fans are very passionate; Tokyo 2020's hosting of 3x3 Basketball will definitely be a great success. Seeing the best teams battling in Tokyo with all those supporters and fans in Japan, it's going to be an awesome tournament.”