SASKATOON (FIBA 3x3 World Tour) - Saskatoon will host the first-ever FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters event in Canada in 2017. The event - organised by Saskatoon Sports Tourism, in partnership with Canada Basketball - will take place in conjunction with Taste of Saskatchewan on 15-16 July 2017 in downtown Saskatoon (4th Avenue & 21st Street).
In addition to the 2017 event, Saskatoon will host the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in 2018 and 2019, securing the rights to the event for three years.
Saskatoon's own foursome of Michael Linklater, Michael Lieffers, Nolan Brudehl and Steve Sir will participate in the tournament. The squad finished second overall at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour in 2014 and - together with former members O'Neil Gordon, Troy Gottselig, Willie Murdaugh and Trevor Nerdahl - made three appearances in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final in the last four years.
"For the last four years, Team Saskatoon has contributed to put the city on the 3x3 basketball map," said Alex Sanchez, FIBA 3x3 Managing Director.
"It's an absolute delight for us to witness the support from the local community. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to see one of the World Tour’s most successful teams compete in their home town in front of their fans and supporters.
"Not only will Saskatoon have the opportunity to showcase our city internationally, but we have the unique opportunity to showcase the skill of Team Saskatoon, one of the best FIBA 3x3 teams in the world," said Todd Brandt, President & CEO of Tourism Saskatoon.
"Saskatoon is incredibly excited to host the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in our downtown and we can’t wait to see basketball fans from across Canada join us in Saskatoon in July."
The Saskatoon FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters will be comprised of 12 teams of four players from around the world participating in a two day tournament. In addition to the main event, a dunk contest and a shoot-out contest will take place in between games. Live music, cheerleaders, dance teams and other entertainment will be held throughout the weekend. An amateur 3x3 tournament is also being planned to take place on satellite courts alongside the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters.
"We’re excited to have Saskatoon hosting the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Canada, showcasing our nation as a world class destination for international basketball events," said Michele O’Keefe, President & CEO, Canada Basketball.
"3x3 basketball has experienced rapid growth and notoriety around the world as a key motor in advancing the game and we look forward to further developing it here at home."
In the lead up to the 3x3 World Tour Masters, seven regional events will take place across the country as part of Canada Basketball’s 3x3 Canada Quest series. The winners of the elite division in each of the seven regionals, along with an additional wild card team, will qualify for the 3x3 Canada Quest Finals. The top two finals teams will then qualify directly to the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Saskatoon.