FIBA 3x3 Nations League trying to stimulate next generation of basketball stars

This international competition has showcased significant expansion since its inaugural season in 2017, becoming a bedrock grassroots competition within the international basketball community.

Set to get underway in June, the 2024 season is set to feature 78 events across 13 conferences, with 73 teams per gender from 47 National Federations (NFs) across all five continents.

From humble beginnings with 15 teams from eight National Federations, the league has blossomed into a thriving development ecosystem. This growth is a testament to the sport’s universal appeal and FIBA’s dedication to nurturing emerging talent in 3×3 basketball. 

President of the Mongolian 3×3 Basketball Association, Myagmarjav Luvsandash expressed his enthusiasm for the league’s progression, stating, “The FIBA 3×3 Nations League is critical in the development of the next generation of our young 3×3 players in Mongolia. It’s an important platform for our home-grown players to gain invaluable experience as they transition into their professional careers. Since organising our own events and regularly entering teams into the Nations League each year, we are realising the benefits year after year.”

Since 2017, the league has seen the introduction of qualification spots for the Pro Circuit and Women’s Series for top teams since 2021, reinforcing its role as a primary venue for discovering and developing professional talent. Furthermore, this year celebrates a new qualification route to the U23 World Cup, with conference winners earning their place in this esteemed tournament.

Thanks to its structure, where each team is guaranteed participation in six international tournaments annually, the Nations League has been instrumental in the careers of several notable players. This ensures significant exposure to international competition, preparing them for World Series, Professional, and Open National Team competitions. The transition to professional levels for Nations League players is markedly smoother, owing to the extensive experience and competitive edge gained through the league.

The Nations League alumni list reads like a who’s who of 3×3 basketball stars who have made significant impacts on the professional stage. 

Alumni include Mai Yamamoto (Japan), a 2021 Olympian and U23 World Cup 2019 winner; Klaudia Papp (Hungary), a World Cup 2019 silver medalist and a stalwart in the 3×3 women’s national team; Hortense Limouzin (France), a World Cup 2022 winner, European Champion 2022, and Women’s Series player; Hailey van Lith (USA), a World Cup 2023 winner and Women’s Series player; Anand Ariunbold (Mongolia), an Asia Cup 2023 winner and World Tour player for Sansar; Franck Seguela (France), a World Tour Wuxi 2023 winner, World Cup 2022 Bronze medalist, and member of team Paris; and Milan Kovačević (Slovenia), a first-generation Nations League player now playing the Pro Circuit with Hangzhou.

As the FIBA 3×3 Nations League continues to grow, so will the next generation of 3×3 stars. It provides a platform for young players to demonstrate their skills, compete at the highest levels, and embark on professional basketball careers.

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