Hollis-Jefferson joins Top 10 list of FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships alumni

17 May 2016

MIES (2016 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships) - From 1 to 5 June 2016, Astana, Kazakhstan will host the fifth edition of the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships. Ever since its launch in 2011, the competition has become a platform for young talent to make a jump in their 3x3 and basketball career. From Astou Ndour to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, we look back at 10 players (men and women) who have shined at the event on their way to stardom.

Cliff Alexander (USA)
At the 3x3 U18 World Championships: 9th in 2013 (Men's)

Since then: Kansas Jayhawaks (NCAA) & Portland Trail Blazers (NBA)

Life was hard for Indonesian rims back in 2013 when Cliff Alexander had a record 23 dunks in just 8 games.

Gabriel Deck (Argentina)
At the 3x3 U18 World Championships: 2013 Gold Medallist (Men's)

Since then: 2014 FIBA 3x3 (Senior) World Championships, 2015 FIBA Americas Silver Medallist

With his classy post moves and lethal jump shot, this Luis Scola fan led Argentina to a clean record in 2013. The following year, the former Nike Hoop Summit player was already representing his country in 3x3 at senior level in Moscow.

Isaac Fotu (New Zealand)
At the 3x3 U18 World Championships: 2011 Gold Medallist (Men's)

Since then: 15th at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup

The then 'fro-less Kiwi propelled New Zealand to an unexpected world title on the first-ever edition of the competition and directly contributed to make 3x3 one of the most popular rising disciplines in the country.

Damien Inglis
At the 3x3 U18 World Championships: 2012 Gold Medallist (Mixed), 2012 Bronze Medallist (Men's)

Since then: NBA (Milwaukee Bucks)

The super-athletic Frenchman showed in Madrid he could finish with a little "Inglis". If not for an unfortunate leg injury suffered a week before the 2013 edition, he would have joined a "Bleuets" team that struck silver in Jakarta and jammed even more the trophy cabinet.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (USA)
At the 3x3 U18 World Championships: 2012 Silver Medal (Men's) & Bronze Medallist (Dunk Contest)

Since then: Arizona Wildcats (NCAA) & Brooklyn Nets (NBA)

Maybe the best player who never won a 3x3 title, Hollis-Jefferson came very close when he carried his team to overtime in the 2012 final but lost on a dramatic buzzer-beater against Serbia.

Astou Ndour (Spain)
At the 3x3 U18 World Championships: 2011 Gold Medallist, 2012 Silver Medallist

Since then: 2013 FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year, 2015 Eurobasket Women Bronze Medallist

Before the Euroleague and the WNBA, the Senegalese-born Ndour reigned supreme in the paint at the 3x3 U18 World Champs, collecting two medals in back-to-back years.

Throwback to one of the turning points in my life... @FIBA @3x3planet pic.twitter.com/5kFUHtZOey

Kobe Paras (Philippines)
At the 3x3 U18 World Championships: 2013 & 2015 Gold Medallist (Dunk Contest)

Since then: UCLA scholarship (NCAA)

Though he was the youngest player in the 2013 edition, it took just a few days for Paras to become the biggest star of the tournament after an electrifying performance at the Honda Dunk Contest, which topped 2 million views on YouTube. The Filipino rising star has since then crossed the ocean. Kobe Bryant may have retired but there is a new Kobe in California.

Angela Salvadores (Spain)
At the 3x3 U18 World Championships: 2013 Gold Medallist (Skills Contest), 2013 Bronze Medallist (Women's)

Since then: 2014 FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year, 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship MVP, 2015 FIBA U18 European Championship MVP

Against girls two years older, the 16-year-old Salvadores outclassed the competition in Jakarta in 2013, collecting two medals in the process.

Katie Lou Samuelson (USA)
At the 3x3 U18 World Championships: 2013 Gold Medallist (Women's)

Since then: 2014 Youth Olympic Games Gold Medallist & 2015 NCAA Final Tournament winner (Connecticut)

The silky smooth Samuelson won gold in Jakarta as she was only 16 and followed up with another impressive performance at the Youth Olympic Games the following year, which included gold in the women's tournament and bronze in the shoot-out contest.

Tai Wynyard (NZL)
At the 3x3 U18 World Championships: Gold Medal in 2015 (Men's) and MVP of the tournament (Men's)

Since then: Kentucky (NCAA)

The lumberjack Wynyard went lumber-shaq in Hungary last year, banging rims and nailing down the block of the year. He is back in 2016 for an encore.