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#439991 - 06/07/12 02:37 PM Belize’s Best 3 on 3 Ballers To Go International
Marty Offline
Three on three basketball, it's played on every court and in every backyard across Belize. What is referred to as "pickup basketball" may not have the prestige or glamour of the full court game, but really, it's the everyman and woman's game.

And now FIBA is embracing it as more than just a recreational past-time; it's slated for inclusion in the Olympics - and a world Championship is also planned for this year in Seville, Spain.

Quite incredibly, Belize's Under-18 programme which has been getting regional attention for its raw talent - has gotten a berth in that World Championship.

And now, the Belize Basketball Federation has to have a national three on three tournament to find the best under 18 talent.

But it isn't just about the tournament, it's also about the love of the game, and so that tournament will include under and over 18 - and will go across the country looking for the best talent.

It's being done with key assistance from key corporate sponsors, Bowen and Bowen and Sprite. They held a press conference with the Belize Basketball Federation today.

Federation President Paul Thompson explained how it will work:

Paul Thompson - President, BBF
"The Sprite Belikin National 3X3 basketball tour will be held in each town across the country on streets, parking lots, or basketball courts during the months of July and August of 2012. The district basketball associations will coordinate tournaments in each district. The winners from each district will play in the finals which will be held in Belize City. A slam dunk contest will also be held in each district as a part of the tour. The winning team in the men's category will automatically qualify to participate in FIBA 3X3 World Tour that will be held in New York on August 18 and 19 of this year. In the U-18 category, Belize was selected by FIBA to participate in the FIBA 3X3 World Championships to be held in Seville Spain from September 27 to the 30th, also this year. For this category, a national 3X3 team will be selected. We're very excited about that. It's the championships; that's the ultimate prize. We go there and we select a national team. Why we got selected, we believe, is that based on our proposal, based on our geographic area, based on our participation in recent youth categories, we've been selected to do this. They've seen progress in Belize in participating in these tournaments, and I believe that's one of the reasons why we were selected."

Now to get he show on the road - so to speak - the BBF has turned to SPRITE and Belikin. Sprite will sponsor the Under-18 component, and Belize the over 18 tournament.

That means they are buying the collapsible rims that will be taken countrywide to host the tournaments. Those sponsors explained their roles.

David Craig - Marketing and Sales, Sprite
"We've all played 3X3 basketball but never in such an organized manner, and never for such a prize like actually going to New York to participate in a FIBA tournament, so we're really happy to be a part of this. We're actually paying for 4 mobile systems. These can be transported anywhere, and the beauty about these courts - about this tournament - is that you can play it on any hard-top surface. You can take it on to the street. You can play it on Albert Street, or in a parking lot. So it's completely mobile. The sponsorship, the value of the sponsorship is about $35,000."

David Vasquez
"Basketball is one of the big sports, and we're all about promoting. For Sprite, it's about promoting sports for the youth ourselves, and also giving the senior males an opportunity to have more access to play sports."

Each event will also include a slam dunk contest. The startup date for the tournament has not been set yet.

Channel 7


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#439992 - 06/07/12 02:38 PM Re: Belize’s Best 3 on 3 Ballers To Go International [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Basketball Tour begins

Three by three games; it’s a popular form of basketball but you’ll mostly find it played in backyards. But the perception of this variation of basketball is changing internationally and the Belize Basketball Federation is moving forward with it. The B.B.F. has partnered with Bowen and Bowen’s Sprite and Belikin divisions to hold a National Three by Three tournament in the summer break. At a press conference today, B.B.F. President Paul Thompson explained how the games will run while David Craig, representing Sprite, spoke about the sponsorship of the event.

Paul Thompson, President, Belize Basketball Federation

Paul Thompson

“3X3 Basketball is a new category of basketball that has been aggressively promoted by our affiliate body, FIBA and will become an official sport in the 2016 or 2020 Olympics. The 3X3 game is a variation of basketball where two teams, each consisting of three players, play on a half court. The B.B.F. is partnering with Sprite in the launch of the U-18 category and with Belikin Beer for the launch of the men’s category. The Sprite/Belikin National 3X3 Basketball Tour will be held in each town across the country on streets, parking lots or basketball courts during the months of July and August of 2012. The district basketball associations will coordinate tournaments in each district. Teams consisting of four players and a coach can participate. FIBA basic 3X3 rules will apply. Winners from each district will play in a finals in Belize City. A slam dunk contest will also be held in each district as part of the tour. As part of the sponsorship, Sprite and Belikin Beer are providing support for the purchase of mobile basketball systems that will be transported to each district for the games.”

David Craig

David Craig, Sales/Marketing Mgr., Non-Alcoholic Division, Bowen & Bowen

“The value of the sponsorship is about thirty-five thousand dollars and it involves things like coordination, mobilization, training, refereeing, administration. So Paul has put together a fantastic budget and we actually did not touch anything for that budget, we just accepted it as is. If you noticed, I think last year they had a three by three as a part of the NBA all star week and it was also sponsored by sprite. Sprite sponsors the slam dunk contest for the NBA all star week as well so sprite has always been a big part of sponsorships for basketball and we’re happy to be here.”

Belikin’s David Vasquez says they readily supported the three by three tournament because it provides opportunities for both youth and senior players. And according to Thompson, those opportunities include a chance to play internationally.

Paul Thompson

“The winning team in the men’s category will automatically qualify to participate in the FIBA 3X3 World Tour that will be held in New York on August eighteenth to nineteenth of this year. The top two teams from this tour will advance to the World Tour Finals in Miami in September this year as well. In the U-18 Category, Belize was selected by FIBA to participate in the FIBA 3X3 World Championships to be held in Seville Spain from September twenty-seventh to the thirtieth this year as well. For this category, a national 3X3 team will be selected. The B.B.F. has to organize 3X3 basketball tournaments in each category in Belize.”

David Vasquez

David Vasquez, Sales/Marketing Mgr., Belize Brewing Co., Bowen & Bowen

“The tournament that will be held in New York is going to be a regional tournament and there are other regional tournaments being held in respective areas. There’s one in Russia, there’s one in San Paulo and one Turkey. So the one in New York will be a regional one probably for this hemisphere and so the other teams that will be participating globally will have regional tournaments set up for themselves elsewhere as well. Basketball is one of the big sports in Belize and for Sprite it’s about promoting sports for the youths and ourselves, it’s about giving the senior players an opportunity to have more access to play sports. One of the things is there’s always a discussion about the current leagues and opportunities for people to play. This gives everyone an opportunity to play without any bias.”

Registration forms will be available at Bowen and Bowen Offices and District Basketball Associations. Bowen and Bowen is also planning to refurbish basketball courts in various neighborhoods.

Channel 5


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