GENEVA (3x3) - With 3x3 going global this year, National Federations worldwide are stepping up efforts to promote and grow the discipline in their respective countries.
3x3 is enabling people everywhere, whether fans or players, to take part in the sport of basketball.
For a number of National Federations, this includes promoting the discipline thanks to a dedicated 3x3 staff member, something FIBA strongly encourages and believes will pay off both short and long term.
"It's such a fast paced game that also allows for the fans to be heavily engaged in the game", says Travis Johnson, 3x3 Basketball Program Director for USA Basketball.
One of the many aspects of 3x3 praised by those involved is that it allows everyone to participate and have a good time.
"3x3 is what is best in basketball, individual achievement, joy; just having fun and everyone can reach for the stars", said Rikard Aspegren 3x3 project manager for Swedish Basketball.
Many National Federations started with test tournaments in 2011 and now they look to officially launch their 3x3 campaign this year, as explains Marek Maliszewski, 3x3 project manager for the Polish Basketball Federation.
"2011 was a test year. We started in September with five qualifying tournaments and the final.
Now we continue our work with minimum eight official qualifying tournaments played in three categories.
Beside of Polish Championship Tour, several 3x3 events will be held as support events for Polish basketball competitions. "
USA Basketball has also been working with private promoters who have demonstrated know-how when it comes to organising 3x3 events.
"USA Basketball is working with domestic private 3x3 operators, such as Hoop It Up, Gus Macker and Nike 3x3 at L.A. Live.
We are working towards a partnership with them to include messaging in their advertising and marketing plans to get the 'word' out to other 3x3 participants, "added Johnson.
Beyond the incentive of a new catalyst discipline for the growth of basketball, Brazil has other reasons to get excited about 3x3, which aims to become an Olympic discipline by 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
"The Brazilian Federation has 27 Regional Federations and is encouraging them to organise 3x3 tournaments in their states", explains Paulo Villas Boas, 3x3 Director for the Brazilian Basketball Federation.
National Federations recognise the potential and are striving to do everything in their power to make this a reality.
Martin Ho Suie Sang, Manager Basketball Development for the Netherlands Basketball Federation, believes that the Olympics add extra incentive for everyone involved in 3x3.
"To be able to offer the Olympic dream to the participants through our activities will only stimulate the Federation and the players to push even harder to make 3x3 a success", he explains.
The slogan 'From the streets to the Olympics' fits perfectly to the plans of our Federation."
Canada Basketball shares the same view when it comes to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games.
"The possibility of 3x3 as a potential Olympic discipline will further help promote this game as it will show a clear pathway from the playground to the podium.
It will help drive the sport to new heights with its greater presence, leading to greater participation and development of more skilled basketball players, "described Ron Yeung 3x3 project manager for Canada Basketball.
Over the past few months other National Federations such as Denmark, Spain, France, Slovenia, Serbia, Switzerland and Lithuania have hired 3x3 dedicated staff members.
More Federations will follow as interest and related activities increase.
On the eve of the inaugural FIBA 3x3 World Tour and World Cup, those investing in the discipline believe that they can get one step ahead of this lightning fast game.
Should your National Federation appoint someone for 3x3 please contact firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com.