3x3 Basketball Preview

Fans will see the launch of a new basketball discipline with the inclusion of 3x3 at this summer’s Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The 3x3 format makes for an exciting and fast-paced game that first was unveiled in international competition at the Summer Youth Olympic Games Singapore 2010 and has become a favorite event for basketball fans at events such as the FIBA 3x3 World Cup and FIBA 3x3 Under-18 World Cup. 

Each team consists of four players, three on the court and one available as a substitute, and there are no coaches. The game is played on a half court with a 12-second shot clock and a 10-minute game clock. Made shots inside the arc are worth one point, and baskets outside the arc are worth two points. The winner is the first team to 21 points, or the team in the lead at the end of regulation. In case of a tied score at the end of regulation, the winner is the first team to score two points in overtime.  

The nonstop action of 3x3 will ensure it is one of the hottest tickets in Tokyo.

Updated on June 4, 2021. For more information, contact the sport press officer here.

• The U.S. will be sending one team to Tokyo for the Olympic debut of 3x3. After going a perfect 6-0 at the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in May, the U.S. women’s team featuring four WNBA standouts qualified for the Games. Team USA’s Kelsey Plum was named to the three-person All-Tournament Team. Plum had 32 points in six games. Allisha Gray was the U.S. leading scorer with 39.

• Qualifying for the Games represents an impressive international turnaround for the U.S. women’s 3x3 program. After winning the first two gold medals at the 3x3 World Cup in 2012 and 2014, the U.S. didn’t even qualify for the 2017 and 2019 tournaments and finished fifth in 2018. 

• The U.S. men finished just short of qualification, falling in the quarterfinals against the Netherlands.

The USA Women’s 3x3 National Team that secured Olympic qualification consisted of Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky/Port Jervis, New York), Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings/Sandersville, Georgia), Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces/Poway, California) and Jackie Young (Las Vegas Aces/Princeton, Indiana).

While the women that secured the Olympic berth for the U.S. will receive strong consideration for the U.S. Olympic Team, the qualifying tournament is just one event that USA Basketball will use to evaluate players. Athletes will be selected based on their performances in the 2020 and 2021 Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals, as well as their performances in the Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Regional Championships.

• Dolson, 29, helped lead the U.S. to a 6-0 record and gold medal at the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup. One of only four UConn Huskies to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, Dolson was a 2014 draft pick of the Washington Mystics and a 2017 WNBA All-Star.

• Gray, 26, was first named to the women’s national team pool in 2018. She has participated in training camps and exhibitions, and averaged 5.5 points per game in the national team’s college tour in 2019. The 2017 fourth overall selection by the Dallas Wings went on to win Rookie of the Year.

• Plum, 26, who won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2018 FIBA World Cup, is the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer with 3,527 points, and owns the single-season scoring record with 1,109 points in 2016-17. A No. 1 draft pick in 2017, Plum missed all of the 2020 Wings season with a torn Achilles.

• Young, 23, was a member of USA Basketball's 3x3 team at the 2019 World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar. After her junior season at Notre Dame, Young was the first overall pick by the Las Vegas Aves in 2019.

• July 24-27, 2021: Pool round of Olympic 3x3 tournament
• July 27-28, 2021: Olympic quarterfinals and semifinals
• July 28, 2021: Olympic medal rounds