The exciting variation of the popular sport will feature both an Australian men’s and women’s side and will be played in Sydney’s iconic Darling Harbour.
The fast-paced game is played on a half-court and features teams of three with one substitute, one ten minute period and a 12 second shot clock which combine to provide non-stop action for both the athletes and spectators.
“The 3x3 model is quicker with no opportunities for gaps in effort,” said men’s coach Mathew Neason. “This competition at the AYOF will help the players to recognise the work ethic they need to go on and become elite players.
“The athletes that have been selected for the AYOF are a really good fit for the 3x3 game. You need to have a good balance of inside and outside players to be successful.”
With 3x3 basketball continuing to gain in popularity around the world, the teams in green and gold will be looking to build on their strong start in the sport.
“The Australian sides are poised to assert themselves in the 3x3 game and continue our strong tradition in the sport,” said Neason. “Competitions like the AYOF will no doubt help improve the quality of juniors we have in both the 3x3 and 5x5 forms of the game.”
The Aussie women’s side claimed silver in the sport’s inaugural Olympic appearance, the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics, before going on to take home bronze at the U18 2012 World Championships in Madrid.
Kristy Wallace will back up from the team that took to the court in Madrid at the 2013 AYOF and she will be joined by Lauren Scherf and Alanna Smith, who were both part of the Australian team that finished fifth at the FIBA U17 World Championships in Amsterdam in August, and Tasmania’s Mariah Payne.
The men’s side had some close losses at the U18 World Championships and just missed out on making it through to the knockout stage of the 32 team tournament.
U18 World Championships representative Tanner Krebs will be joined by NSW duo Kai Healy and Jack McVeigh, along with Tad Dufelmeier from the ACT.
The competition will be made up of teams from New Zealand, Great Britain, China, Japan, Hungary and a combined Oceania team.
In keeping with the entertaining vibe of the event, a 2 point shooting contest, skills contest and free-throw contest will also feature with players from each team being nominated to take part.
While the new form of the sport will feature for the first time at the AYOF, the traditional 5x5 game has helped unveil the likes of dual Olympian and NBA player Patty Mills and recent WNBA Champion Erin Phillips.
The AYOF will feature 30 nations competing in 17 sports and will take place throughout Sydney from January 16-20.
The Australian basketball teams for the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival:
Tad Dufelmeier ACT
Kai Healy NSW
Tanner Krebs TAS
Jack McVeigh QLD
Mariah Payne TAS
Lauren Scherf VIC
Alanna Smith VIC
Kristy Wallace QLD