This morning, Basketball ACT announced the official opening of their 3-on-3 (3×3) basketball courts.
The outdoor facility, which is located behind the Belconnen Basketball Stadium, is the first of its kind anywhere in Australia, meaning Canberra hopes to attract not only locals, but international 3×3 competition to the courts.
3×3 basketball is currently pushing to be an Olympic sport and with the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, the ACT are well placed to interest international training and Olympic qualifiers.
Deputy Chief Minister, Yvette Berry, had the honour of cutting the ceremonial ribbon, while Basketball Australia’s CEO, Anthony Moore and Basketball ACT President, David Leaney, also spoke of the impact the courts will have on basketball in Australia.
Once the formalities were finished attendees had a chance to test out the new courts, including Canberra Capitals Academy, Canberra Gunners, and University of Canberra Capitals players, including Opals star, Marianna Tolo.
Berry said she believes the facility is world class and is happy that Canberra is leading the way.
“In a city like the ACT with 400-thousand people we’re leading the way in Australia,” she said, adding that due to the different playing surface and fact that the courts are outdoors she believes 3×3 basketball has the ability to be popular with those who aren’t already playing the indoor game.
Pending the success of the new outdoor courts, Berry said it is likely other cities will follow in the footsteps of Basketball ACT.
Basketball ACT President, David Leaney, said the 1.2 million dollar investment is worth every cent.
“Test cricket has one day cricket, one day cricket has T-20 cricket, AFL has nines and union has sevens,” said Leaney.“So for us three-on-three basketball is our variation of the sport.”
“It’s more of a recreational community type sport, it’s less formal, it’s less structured, it’s got more of a street feel about it, and we’re looking to constantly improve, not just as basketball facility, but as a community sport recreational facility,” he added. “Being first to do something like this, it really puts Canberra on the map.”
Due to the assistance of the ACT Government, Basketball ACT are proud to announce they now have a means to accommodate a rapidly growing sport, and also introduce Basketball in a completely new format.
3×3 basketball kicks off at Belconnen tomorrow morning at 11am for the Queen’s Brrrthday Bounce 3×3 competition.
Written by Daniel Graham