On February 1, the current 27th team in the FIBA 3x3 Team Ranking (who reached the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final in 2017) started a campaign on the Swiss crowdfunding website ‘I believe in you’ and Lausanne co-captain Westher Molteni recalled the team had 2 objectives in mind.
"In the past we saw other athletes from other sports have successful campaigns on 'I believe in you'. We thought it would be interesting for 2 reasons: 1. to collect money to prepare the season and 2. make people talk about our team and a new discipline like 3x3."
The team achieved both with the 45,000 CHF mark reached in just 50 days and countless articles in the local and national press.
"We set the price ourselves but we were not sure we could make it," Molteni said. "We only started thinking it would be a success when we got 7,000 CHF in the first 24 hours. A lot of people shared the announcement, from NBA star Clint Capela to most of the Swiss basketball teams. It was incredible to see all this support."
FIBA announced in February that if the team achieved its goal, it would be granted an invitation to a challenger, including travel costs. Their fan support will bring Team Lausanne all the way to China.
"We already worked on our season calendar and marked all the events we could reach on our own," the highlight machine Molteni said.
"We were targeting a Masters, for which we had no other way to qualify. Plus we wanted to play on another continent. For all these reasons, we thought the Huai An Challenger was the best choice for us."
If Lausanne are one of the top 2 squads at the Huai An Challenger on July 20-21, they will be guaranteed to compete in Montreal, Canada on September 7-8.
Their 3x3 opener will be later this month, on April 27 in Bienne, Switzerland.