Saskatoon nets 3×3 hosting deal

The International Basketball Federation (Fiba) has awarded the Canadian city of Saskatoon hosting rights to a 3×3 World Tour Masters event for the next three years.

Saskatoon will become the first-ever Canadian city to host a Fiba 3×3 World Tour Masters event when it stages this year’s competition on July 15-16. It will also stage the event in 2018 and 2019.

This year’s event will be organised by Saskatoon Sports Tourism in partnership with Canada Basketball and will take place in conjunction with the Taste of Saskatchewan food festival in downtown Saskatoon.

Team Saskatoon, which finished second overall on the Fiba 3×3 World Tour in 2014, will compete at this year’s event along with 12 other teams. Each team will comprise four players.

In addition to the main event, a dunk contest and a shoot-out contest will be held between games. Live music, cheerleaders, dance teams and other entertainment will be held throughout the weekend, while an amateur 3×3 tournament is also being planned.

"We’re excited to have Saskatoon hosting the Fiba 3×3 World Tour Masters in Canada, showcasing our nation as a world-class destination for international basketball events," Michele O’Keefe, president and chief executive of Canada Basketball, said. "3×3 basketball has experienced rapid growth and notoriety around the world as a key motor in advancing the game and we look forward to further developing it here at home."

In the lead-up to the event, seven regional events will be held across the country as part of Canada Basketball’s 3×3 Canada Quest series. Winners of the elite division in each of the regional events, along with an additional wildcard team, will qualify for the Canada Quest Finals. The top two final teams will then qualify for Saskatoon’s World Tour Masters event.