When 3×3 basketball debuts at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, one heavyweight name will be missing after the United States men’s team failed to qualify.
At the 2021 FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament this week in Graz, Austria, Team USA topped its group despite losing to Belgium. But on Sunday in the quarterfinals, the Netherlands eliminated the U.S. from the tournament, where the top three teams will advance to Tokyo.
Team USA was considered one of the Olympic favorites after winning the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The team was made up of former Purdue star and Timberwolves forward Robbie Hummel, No. 1 ranked U.S. 3×3 player and former NBA first-round draft pick Dominique Jones, former Princeton standout Kareem Maddox, NBA G League guard Canyon Berry, son of NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry. Former University of Minnesota guard Joey King also joined the team as an injury replacement.
The 3×3 competition differs from the long-standing, full-court event in that 3×3’s half-court games are played outdoors in under 10 minutes, points are counted by 1s and 2s up to 21, and rules include a 12-second shot clock and a ball that is 1 1/2 centimeters smaller than an NBA regulation basketball.
After the three Olympic spots awarded at the current qualifying tournament, one entry was saved for Japan as the host, one place will be awarded to the winner of next week’s FIBA Universality Olympic Qualifying Tournament, while three spots were given to the top three countries in the FIBA 3×3 rankings as of November 2019: China, ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) and Serbia.
The U.S. women’s team—composed of WNBA players Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum and Katie Lou Samuelson—qualified for Tokyo after defeating Spain in the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament semifinals on Sunday.