Thu | Oct 1, 2020

3x3 basketball presents Olympics hope

Published:Wednesday | September 9, 2020 | 12:09 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
In this file photo from August 16, 2013, an Urban Knights player (front) is challenged by two Spanish Town Spartans opponents during Game Two of the FLOW National Basketball League finals at the National Stadium Court.
In this file photo from August 16, 2013, an Urban Knights player (front) is challenged by two Spanish Town Spartans opponents during Game Two of the FLOW National Basketball League finals at the National Stadium Court.
Gordon
Gordon
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Jamaica Basketball Association president, Paulton Gordon, and national coordinator for 3x3 basketball, Deon Williams, both believe Jamaica’s chances of qualifying for Olympics 3x3 basketball are greater than in the conventional format of the game.

Jamaica recently became an official member of the FIBA 3x3 community, and both Gordon and Williams contend that the country has great potential in 3x3 basketball, which recently became an Olympic sport. They noted that the association has already started putting plans together to help grow the game here.

Gordon argued that 3x3 basketball at the Olympics gives smaller nations a bigger chance of qualifying for the global games, as it requires less resources to prepare than that of a full basketball squad.

“FIBA has been wanting to place more emphasis on 3x3 basketball and suggests some of the smaller countries, as well as those established (nations), expand and establish the game. So smaller nations now have a better chance of qualifying (Olympics) because this takes less resources,” Gordon said.

The association intends to go on a promotion drive for the sport, and they are looking to get competitions going in schools and communities to help establish the game locally.

“Business House already has an established thing (competition), so in the next two years, we hope 3x3 will be a part of the school system. If we can get ISSA involved, it will not be a direct cost to us. We just need to partner with some private-sector companies for the community side,” Gordon shared.

DEVELOPING A PLAN

“We want to establish it and make it grow, but it’s going to take more coordination and more tournaments. So we are developing a template, which Deon (Williams) is working on, and then soon we can look at how we can put things in place to have a competitive (national) team,” he continued.

“But it is going to take time and we can’t do a lot until the society opens up again. But we are going to do it incrementally and it will grow as it is a shorter and more exciting edition,” Gordon added.

Jamaica became an official 3x3 basketball nation due to Williams’ recent appointment. As a result, local 3x3 competitions will now be highlighted on FIBA platforms and Jamaica and its participating players will gain points from locally staged events.

This, Williams said, will be important to Jamaica in regard to being eligible to enter international competitions.

“Qualification is a points-based systems similar to golf and tennis that is driven by events, but unlike football and basketball, that is league driven.

“But it is another opportunity for Jamaica to have another team at the Olympics, as 3x3 may be easier for us to qualify, because you are not going into a competition with other teams like 5v5. So it is easier to reach the Olympics,” Williams commented.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com