Globalization of 3x3.EXE PREMIER
3x3.EXE PREMIER has expanded its globalization in the 2019 season. We have established conferences not only in Japan but also in New Zealand, Republic of Korea and Thailand, increasing the number of teams from 42 in 2018 to 81. Furthermore, in the 2020 season, it will be expanded to 5 countries and 1 region (Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Thailand), with over 100 teams in 1 league. This article will be about the 3x3 situation in the world, its history, and its future.
Vol.1 New Zealand
New Zealand has been featured in the 2019 Rugby World Cup and in the success of containing the new coronavirus. We have been preparing since 2016 with David Huxford, who is a 3x3 and National Events Manager of the New Zealand Basketball Association, for our entry into the 3x3.EXE PREMIER.
◤History of New Zealand and 3x3
The first international competition for New Zealand (called TALL BLACKS) was the U18 World Championship, which was held in Italy in 2011, and the men’s national team won the gold medal. They also won gold medals at the U18 World Cup in Hungary in 2015 and the U18 Asia Cup in 2018, showing the world how strong they are in the U18 men’s category.
New Zealand has been producing young players to the world since 2011. The first 3x3 domestic competition in New Zealand was in 2013.It was an open-entry format (open to everyone), bringing in 788 players from 229 teams, and held in 10 cities, with a total of 714 matches.
That tournament had expanded to 15 host cities by 2016, with more than 1,300 players playing. From this time on, the performance in the general category was also remarkable such as the winning team of the tournament got the right to play in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters. Then we met David Huxford in Beijing for the first time, who was with the winning team at the 2016 national championships (Team Auckland).
(Information: Basketball New Zealand)
◤History of New Zealand and 3x3.EXE PREMIER
The first time we explained the 3x3.EXE PREMIER was at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Beijing Masters. At that time, we were still talking about player exchanges, such as if they could send some players from New Zealand to play in Japanese teams for the 2017 season. From the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Beijing Masters to visiting Utsunomiya in 2018, we had a lot of discussions and exchanges of ideas about what is the best for both countries and 3x3.EXE PREMIER league. And when David Huxford came to Utsunomiya, he told us that New Zealand was willing to join the 3x3.EXE PREMIER league. He said “Joining 3x3.EXE PREMIER is a way to improve the value of New Zealand basketball”.
The main reason why they are in 3x3.EXE PREMIER is the season. The 3x3.EXE PREMIER is from May to September, and it is winter in New Zealand so players had no activity during this season and competitions did not exist. Playing in 3x3.EXE PREMIER allows players to play 3x3 throughout the year. Also, playing in 3x3.EXE PREMIER was a great advantage for them because New Zealand is an island, which means they have few opportunities to play against foreign teams. The most important value for New Zealand was that 3x3.EXE PREMIER is a league that connects to the FIBA 3x3 World Tour, the tournament that decides the best team in the world. David Huxford considered that it is important to improve the federation ranking since the more high-level competitions played, the more FIBA points players could earn*.
Then we prepared rapidly and had press conferences in Auckland and Christchurch in May 2019, where both cities are the hometown of conferences. The first regular-season in New Zealand, SWISH.EXE, with Karl Noyer and Tom Allen, who have played at international tournaments, won the title.
*The federation ranking is based on the individual ranking.
◤What 3x3.EXE PREMIER Brought to New Zealand
We got the happy news in November 2019 about the FIBA points that David Huxford found the most valuable. New Zealand got a chance to play the Olympic Qualification Tournaments (OQT) for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics because many teams from New Zealand played in the 3x3.EXE PREMIER 2019 Playoffs in Tokyo in September 2019 and earned FIBA points, which led to improved national rankings.
◤For the Future
Speaking of New Zealand, it is famous as a rugby country, such as ALL BLACKS. However, the population of 13-17 year-old playes is larger in basketball than in rugby. （New Zealand Secondary School Sports 2019) David said he would like to take more action to promote the number of players. 3x3.EXE PREMIER and the New Zealand Basketball Association continue to be a good partner and rival after the 2020 season to develop 3x3 basketball and expand the opportunities to play in the international competitions for children dreaming of it.
More Basketball New Zealand 3x3 info: https://nz.basketball/3x3/