Friday, the International Olympic Committee announced 3-on-3 basketball will be added to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The IOC said 3-on-3 was successful in experiments in youth tournaments that began in Singapore in 2010 and in Nanjing in 2014.
"The intensity and skill level of the 3-on-3 game is such that there are no traditional 3x3 powerhouses and new countries have emerged since the first YOG experience in 2010," FIBA president Horacio Muratore said. "This was our main objective back in 2007. The decision provides FIBA with a renewed, strong incentive to continue in this direction and grow the game of basketball by developing new young skilled basketball talents in both genders across the globe from small islands to large countries in every continent."
There will be 3-on-3 tournaments for men and women.
"The fascinating new events that we approved today, together with the five new sports that were added to the Tokyo 2020 program last year, represent a step-change in the Olympic program," IOC president Thomas Bach said. "I am delighted that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be more youthful, more urban and will include more women."
Inland Northwest residents will, of course, have an annual opportunity to hone their basketball skills at Spokane Hoopfest.
Hoopfest is the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world, organizers said, and they are excited to see their sport at an international level.
“We’re really excited it’s going to be recognized on the biggest stage possible, which is the Olympics,” Matt Santangelo from Hoopfest said on Friday. “There’s been a great momentum around 3-on-3 basketball recently, especially with USAB, the FIBA world championships… but also now kind of with the announcement of the Big 3, the former NBA guys launching their 3-on-3 league.”
"I think there’s a lot of excitement around the 3-3 game. So I think that’s a good thing, certainly, for Hoopfest,” Santangelo said.
The Washington Post wrote it is unclear who would compose the 3-on-3 teams.
“However, it’s likely the competition wouldn’t feature just NBA stars,” Marissa Payne wrote in an Washington Post article earlier this month. “Not only might they be busy in the traditional team competition, but the traditional game and the 3-on-3 version require different sets of skills.”
The addition of the 3-on-3 event is part of the IOC’s efforts to attract younger, more urban participants and viewers.
CBS Sports contributed to this report.
KREM and CBS Sports