USA, Red Bull create pathway to 3-on-3 Olympics teams - Alternative Media Forum

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Thursday, 2 May 2019

USA, Red Bull create pathway to 3-on-3 Olympics teams

As fun as it sounds to put LeBron James, James Harden and Kevin Durant on the USA’s 3-on-3 men’s team and Breanna Stewart, Elena Della Donne and Skylar Diggins-Smith on the women’s team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, that’s probably not going to happen.

Instead, USA Basketball has partnered with Red Bull for a series of 3-on-3 events across the nation to help determine who should represent the U.S. at the Summer Games.
“Our priority is qualifying both our men’s and women’s teams for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley said. “We want to have a number of athletes start playing in a number of national and international events to earn points for our country as well as themselves and this partnership with Red Bull is going to be a big part of our qualification process.”

USA Basketball will play host to a men’s and women’s national championship this weekend in Las Vegas and then 20 qualifying tournaments will be played under the Red Bull 3X series to help identify the four men and four women who could represent the U.S. at the 2020 Olympics. The first Red Bull event will be in Detroit on June 22.
There is no guarantee the U.S. qualifies for one of the eight men’s and women’s spots (four players per team) in the Olympics. The top three teams in rankings automatically qualify and then teams Nos. 4-24 will compete in a qualification tournament to determine four teams and a final spot will be awarded through another qualifying system.

Tooley said the U.S. hopes to be in the top three and automatically qualify men's and women's team. The U.S. men are ranked eighth and the U.S. women are ranked 33rd, according to FIBA, the world basketball governing body.

Some top countries in 3-on-3 are not always the traditional basketball powerhouses. Japan is No. 5, Mongolia No. 7, Netherlands No. 9 and Qatar No. 10 in the men’s rankings. On the women’s side, China is No. 1, Mongolia No. 2, Romania No. 4, Estonia No. 6 and Hungary No. 10.

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