Keneally wants 3-on-3 basketball boom
By Rob Forsaith
18:51 AEST Sat Jan 19 2013

Twenty20 changed the face of cricket and three-on-three has the potential to do the same for basketball, according to Basketball Australia (BA) chief executive Kristina Keneally.

FIBA, the international governing body, has been making noise about the format being added to the Olympic program since its success at the inaugural Youth Olympics at Singapore in 2010.

While that seems optimistic at the moment, the number of formal meets is on the rise, especially in youth competitions.

Keneally, speaking at the three-on-three competition at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF), noted five-on-five will always be the dominant form of the game but that there was a need for all sports to evolve.

"When we look at three-on-three, we see a great tool to build a new fan base," Keneally told AAP.

"But also to attract athletes who may not have access to the same resources, or may not have contemplated playing the five-on-five game.

"In five to ten years, we want three-on-three to be something that Australian kids can play at their local association.

"And that there are national championships that give our athletes another gateway to compete on the world stage."

Unlike T20, three-on-three is nothing new.

The annual Gus Macker tournament has been played in the US since 1974, on courts set up in playgrounds, parking lots and closed-off streets.

"It's been around longer than me, and there wouldn't be an elite training program or a team in the world that wouldn't have some three-on-three at training," BA board member and Sydney Olympics flag bearer Andrew Gaze said.

"It's good that it's now getting recognised. It brings about opportunities for players.

"I know they're trying to think of it as an Olympic sport and that's great. I was an ambassador at the Youth Olympics in Singapore and it was one of the most popular events."

Jack McVeigh, who represented Australia for the first time at AYOF and will commence at the AIS this year, suggested three-on-three had improved his skills.

"It's great fun and you're learning a lot of things that you can use in both games," McVeigh said.

The final day of AYOF three-on-three action was shifted from the outdoor courts at Darling Harbour to Sydney Boys High School due to wet weather.

Australia gold beat Australia green in the final of both the men's and women's competitions.

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