Interest in 3x3 basketball has grown over the past few decades, taking street ball to the verge of Olympic competition. After being tested at the youth levels, it will finally make its debut in the Tokyo Olympics due to be held this summer. Incoming Arizona freshman Anna Gret Asi wants to be there.
Asi is playing for the Estonian 3x3 side in its bid to qualify for the Olympics. The team made its debut on Thursday at the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Graz, Austria.
The Estonian team leads Pool C after its first two games, going 2-0 against Sri Lanka and the Netherlands. Estonia defeated Sri Lanka by a score of 22-6 and the Netherlands by a score of 20-14.
In the opening game against Sri Lanka, Asi was the second-leading scorer on her team with six points. She went 3-for-3 from one-point distance, 1-for-2 from two-point distance, and 1-for-2 from the free-throw line. She also grabbed four rebounds.
In the second game, she led her team with seven points. She was good for two of her five shots from one-point distance, one of four from two-point distance, and a perfect 3-for-3 from the line. She also had two rebounds and two key assists.
Asi has played in 3x3 tournaments since 2015 but only began appearing for the Estonian national team this year. She is the youngest member of their four-player team at Graz. She is also scheduled to appear in the FIBA 3x3 Universality Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2021 and the FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup Qualifier 2021 in June.
Estonia will next play against Hungary on May 29.
How the game is played
As per its name, 3x3 basketball is played by two teams of three on a half-court measuring 15 by 11 meters and has just one basket. The teams are allowed one sub, so a complete team is four players.
Other rules that differ from full-court basketball have to do with made shots, the number of points scored per basket, shot clock length, and game length. Each game lasts up to 10 minutes but ends if one team reaches 21 points before the time is up. If the two teams are tied after 10 minutes, the first to score two points in overtime wins.
Baskets are worth one or two points and the shot clock is just 12 seconds. There is no in-bounding of the ball after made shots, and held balls are always won by the defense. The possession must always begin outside the arc, even if the defense gets a steal, block, or rebound inside the arc.
The game ball is also slightly different in 3x3 basketball. It is the same circumference as the standard ball used in the women’s full-court game, but it weighs the same as the standard ball used in the men’s full-court game. The same ball is used by men, women and mixed teams in 3x3.