The LA Street Festival took place on Friday, September 20 to Saturday, September 21. Despite there being plenty of activities to participate in, the festival really highlighted the Fiba 3X3 tournament.
This year was the first year that Fiba 3X3 was in California.
Chris Staples, a professional dunker, had been apart of 3X3 for five years after his first event in Qatar. “Five years later and finally in California, the place I live and I think it’s really good to be a part of it because it feels like I’m playing in my own backyard today,” said Staples.
Fiba 3X3 is a new and innovative way to play basketball as it is inspired by different forms of street basketball.
According to the LA Street Festival’s official website, the game truly made its mark for the first time in an international competition at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and has continued to be acknowledged through various annual events since then.
The 3X3 tournament consisted of 12 teams from all over the world. In the semi-final, it came down to four teams, Novi-Sad, Princeton, Liman, and Ulaanbaatar.
The semi-final got really intense, but Liman and Princeton came out of it victorious and headed off into the final round.
According to Fiba 3×3 basketball, the history to 3X3 began with the first event at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, then the first national team 3×3 event held by Fiba. In 2012 they launched the Fiba 3×3 world tour where teams were able to represent cities and win a cash prize. Finally, on June 9, 2017, it became an Olympic discipline.
“Participating in three on three has been amazing. It’s grown so much,” said Staples. You know, I remember back five years ago, when I competed. It was just a conversation about one day maybe this will be an Olympic sport and now we’re here… So some people didn’t believe in at the time, but now that we’ve made it happen.”
3×3 has come so far from just being a form of streetball to now being part of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
When thinking of 3×3 basketball, some may only think of the athletes that play, but there are plenty of other important people involved.
Glenn Tuitt, who currently coaches college basketball, explained that he became associated with 3×3 when the sport made its way to the United States six years ago.
“I wanted to promote the Fiba three x three-game because it was going to be an Olympic sport. And so they approached a company I was working for, which was the Hoop It Up, and they came in and did a tour and they invited me to go to Tokyo and referee championship and I’ve been with them for six years now.”
The Fiba 3X3 grew very rapidly and has gained a lot of popularity over the years. Everyone that had a part in its start off has been a big part of the fast expansion as well.