MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Three-on-three basketball. It’s one of the newest and most innovative international sports. After recently making its Olympic debut in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Games it’s now making its way to Miami.
“Traditionally in the past, the event was originally played overseas, in Europe, Russia, China. So to be able to bring an event of this magnitude to the Miami area and the USA, in general, is important to the growth of the game,” said Jay Demings, the 3×3 Development Director for USA Basketball.READ MORE: Living Large: 1000 Museum Boasts Penthouse With South Florida's Only Helipad
This Friday through Sunday, teams from across the globe be at Bayfront Park for the FIBA 3X3 AmericCup.
“It’s incredible any time you wear USA across your chest, it doesn’t matter if it’s five on five or three on three. I think three on three is becoming bigger and bigger, not just an Olympic sport, so it’s an honor to be here,” said Blake Dietrick, a guard on the USA men’s team.
The winning team of the round-robin event will qualify for a spot in the 2022 FIBA World Championship in Belgium, an important goal for the American women’s team who won a Gold Medal at the 2021 Olympics.
“It’s the first AmericCup, so it’s important to win for USA, to keep the standard that USA already set high,” said Brionna Jones, a forward on the USA women’s team.READ MORE: 'To Police Well, You Have To Be Well Yourself:' Program Addresses Officer Mental Health
Meanwhile, the USA men’s team is looking for redemption after failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
“To represent the name on the front of my jersey as well as the name on the back of my jersey, we are all just blessed to be here and make the most of it,” said Charles Brown, a forward on USA men’s team.
Each respective men’s and women’s team is comprised of three players and one substitute, all with professional or Division 1 college experience. One player on the USA team has Florida ties. Canyon Barry played for the University of Florida Gators.
“It’s awesome, I love the state of Florida. I live here every offseason and obviously, I went to UF for one year and got a degree from there. So any time I am back in the Sunshine State, it’s a good time. It’s an honor to represent your country and be able to wear USA across your chest. The fact it’s in Florida and a lot of friends and family come out and watch, it’s going to be special,” Barry said.MORE NEWS: Police: Glades Middle School Teacher Arrested After Pursuing Romantic Relationship With Former Student
The US women’s team will begin their title quest on Saturday with games against Venezuela and Argentina. The men’s team will tip-off on Friday against Mexico and Venezuela.