3×3 basketball back in Nelson in February

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The Burger King 3×3 New Zealand basketball Quest Tour will return to the Tahunanui Tennis Courts on February 11.

Basketball New Zealand’s 3×3 Manager, David Huxford, says the national  event’s popularity has grown so fast that they have needed to limit entries at some venues.

“We had 396 team entries last season and unfortunately had to turn people away at some events, where we were forced to restrict numbers to ensure the event continued to work as well as it does. This year we’ve added Whangarei as an extra venue to provide more opportunity, which will be the first stop on Tour, so we’ll host the Tour in a total of 15 locations this year.”

The Tour once again has official ‘Quest’ status, which means that the winner of the Open Men’s grade at each event will compete at the World Tour Qualifier Final on 25 March for the right to represent their city at a World Tour Masters in Asia.

“The final stop of the tour is the World Tour Qualifier at The Cloud, so whoever wins that will win an all-expenses paid trip to Asia and compete at the World Tour Masters,” says Huxford.

FIBA rules state that international players who compete in World Championships or the World Tour must have played in at least two FIBA endorsed events and accumulate points on 3x3Planet, FIBA’s portal for 3×3 events.

“The Burger King Quest Tour gives players a great opportunity to be spotted by the national 3×3 talent selector. In 2017 Basketball New Zealand will be sending seven teams overseas to play in FIBA 3×3 events, so we’re looking for some really talented players to sign up. And who knows, maybe there’s a few future Olympians in the bunch – one of the most exciting events this year will be the announcement in June by the IOC as to whether or not 3×3 will be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. We’ve been directing our 3×3 programme towards this, so we’re waiting for the announcement with baited breath.”

Building on three successful tours over previous summers, the Burger King 3X3 Quest Tour runs from 26 November through to 25 March at the final event at The Cloud in Auckland. The event is open to under 15, under 17, under 19, and Open age-groups in both men’s and women’s categories. Huxford says team’s need to register early if they don’t want to miss out.

“Given last season’s demand, we are encouraging players to enter their teams now and ensure they are registered on 3x3Planet.com.