The 3×3 International Cup returns to Sacramento: Here’s how it works

Sep 29, 2023, 3:00 PM

Jimmer Fredette #7 of the Sacramento Kings against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on February 2...

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 22: Jimmer Fredette #7 of the Sacramento Kings against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on February 22, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings will host the second annual 3×3 International Cup at Golden 1 Center on Sunday, Oct. 1.

Attendance is free, and the FIBA-endorsed competition will feature 12 men’s teams in four pools for the initial group stage.

And FYI, it’s pronounced “three-ex-three,” not three-by-three, three-on-three, three-times-three, or any other permutation.

Three international teams will be present during the tournament, with nine United States teams joining them. Former Sacramento Kings draft pick Jimmer Fredette highlights the number one ranked U.S. team, Team Miami. The initial pool competition (and their ranking) is as follows:

Pool A

  • Miami (1)
  • Jamaica (8)
  • Sacramento (9)

Pool B

  • Jeddah (2)
  • Marin County (7)
  • Oklahoma City The Cage (10)

Pool C

  • Omaha (3)
  • Mexico City (6)
  • Venice Beach (11)

Pool D

  • Calabasas (4)
  • St. Louis Da Guys (5)
  • Capital City (12)

Team Miami, the number one ranked U.S. team in this tournament, features Fredette, Dylan Travis, Kareem Maddox, and Canyon Berry. Canyon is the son of Hall of Famer Rick Barry.

Games conclude when a team reaches 21 points, scoring ones or twos, or when ten minutes have concluded. The tournament will be played in Golden 1 Center on Sunday, with the quarterfinals scheduled for 1:45 p.m. PST, the semifinals at 3:50 p.m. PST, and the championship game at 5:05 p.m.

The 3×3 International Cup winner will punch their ticket to the Chengdu Masters in late October and, for the first time, win qualifying points for their nationality. Jay Demings, sports development director for USA Basketball, who has overseen 3×3 basketball since 2021, explained the importance of the upcoming tournament.

“You have your top-level events that earn you the most points, but to get to those events you have to earn your way in,” Demings said. “You can buy your way in through wildcard bids, things like that as well, but by and large you have to win your way in so you start at lower level events and work your way up. Those qualify to higher level events and what’s great about the International Cup, hosted by the Sacramento Kings, is that this year we were able to turn it into a qualifier for what FIBA calls a World Tour stop. The winning team of the International Cup will feed to the Chengdu Masters World Tour stop next month and that’s one of the highest level events you can take part in the FIBA circuit. So, we’re excited for the event just for what it was, just to have an event domestically is exciting, but now adding that carrot on top is something we’re looking forward to.”

This is the first year the tournament has been upgraded to Quest status, which applies to Olympic qualifications. While the style of the game is different, it’s fast-paced basketball. With 3×3 being quicker games, each game has an increased sense of variability.

While there are rankings for each nationality, players have their own individual points that add up with each tournament victory. The highest-ranked U.S. player in Sacramento will be Fredette, who sits at 14th nationally, per FIBA 3×3.

“[Fredette] epitomizes what it is to play for your country because he made the decision to start playing over a year and a half before the Olympics even came about. He doesn’t even know if we were even qualified to play. So, his goal was to help the United States get qualified,” Demings said. “Of course, he wants to play on the Olympic team just as they all do, but I think his contributions over the last year have been so valuable to not only the United States but to the international game.”

3×3 basketball has continued to grow throughout the last few years, and the Sacramento Kings are doing their part in expanding the game. Last season, Team Sacramento won the tournament, and they are returning in 2023 to defend their crown.

Free tickets can be found on the Golden 1 Center website. 

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