As the 3X3 basketball tournament ended today at Tokyo Olympics, there is a lot of things to say about what happened during the tournament, regarding the winners and losers but also 3X3 basketball itself, that had quite a success during these 5 days…
USA and Latvia, forever the first !
Women’s of Team USA and Men’s of the Latvian will never forget this one and their win will always be like no other. By winning the gold medal in Tokyo this morning, they became the very first winners in the Olympic history of 3X3 basketball.
For Team USA it’s another historic win, reinforcing USA’s supremacy on worldwide basketball. Kelsey Plum’s teammates never failed or showed any signs of weakness during the 5 days of tournament. An all around team and an amazing group of friends who signed a perfect group phase (7 wins on 7 games). After beating a tough French team in 1/2 finals, they had to face Russia in final, a final game all in control that lead to a well deserved gold medal, the first for American basketball in these Olympics, and the first of a kind for 3X3 basketball. The adventure that started 2 months ago in Austria during the OQT ended in the best way possible under the lights of Tokyo.
For Latvia the story is just as beautiful as Team USA’s one. Their Olympic journey also started 2 months ago in Austria during the OQT. Last team qualified for the tournament after, Lasmanis’ teammates knew they could do something in these Olympics. After a well managed group phase and a solid 1/2 finals against a surprising Belgian team, Latvia faced a strong Russian team in final. Dominated by Russia, Latvia only took the lead a few minutes before the end of the game. At 19-18 Latvia needed a 2 points shot to end it and Karlis Lasmanis is here for these moments. Latvia ball, Lasmanis on the left, catch, dribble, pulls-up, shoots, ICE. A first gold medal for Latvia in these Olympics and what a medal !
The joy of Karlis Lasmanis and Latvia after a huge gold medal winning shot and the Women’s USA team on the podium for the first time in the History of 3X3. Credit: FIBA.
A worlwide success for 3X3 basketball
“I love 3X3 basketball”, “I’m in love with 3X3”, “3X3 is my new favourite sport in the Olympics”, “3X3 basketball is super fun to watch”. These are the things I saw on Twitter during the 5 days of the tournament and they were more and more numerous as the tournament was going on. More than the win of the US or Latvia, these Olympics are a win for 3X3 basketball. Still unknown at the International level, 3X3 basketball really revealed itself to the world during these Olympics as it was one of the new sports added to the Olympic program this year. It’s different, fun, fast, physical, and got some streetball vibes and people are in love with it. Yes, these Olympics really marked a huge step in the History of 3X3 basketball and we’re ready to see it again at 2024 Olympic Games in Paris !