3×3 Tall Blacks Secure Qualifier Spot for 2024 Paris Olympics

Basketball New Zealand (BBZN) has been buoyed by news that its 3×3 Tall Blacks team is one step closer to 2024 Paris Olympics Qualification, with confirmation this morning that the New Zealand 3×3 men’s national team has been invited to attend the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in 2024.

New Zealand will compete against Latvia, Netherlands, Mongolia, Austria and Egypt in this Olympic qualifying tournament, with two further opponents yet to be named. The host location and the teams participating in this tournament are set to be announced in December.

The top five men’s teams from the Olympic Qualifiers will earn a ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics, which is only the second time that 3×3 basketball has appeared at this pinnacle sporting event – following the Tokyo Olympics which saw Latvia and USA win gold in the men’s and women’s events.

This follows FIBA’s announcement today that six countries have secured an outright place at the Paris 2024 Olympics thanks to leading in the FIBA 3×3 Ranking Points; Serbia, USA and China locking in men’s spots while China, USA and France have secured women’s spots. That leaves five tickets available per gender for the 3×3 Olympic competition, with the remaining slots to be contested in a trio of Olympic qualifying tournaments next year.

Meanwhile the 3×3 Tall Ferns – who had also generated enough FIBA 3×3 Ranking points to attend FIBA’s first 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in the eighth and final women’s spot – will await news as to whether their efforts have earned them an official Qualifiers invite.

With Israel originally locked in as the host country for the Qualifying Tournament, their subsequent exclusion from the event due to the devastating Israel-Hamas conflict now throws the 3×3 Tall Ferns participation into doubt. As FIBA works on securing a replacement host country, BBNZ understands that if the new host is a European country, then 3×3 Tall Ferns will lock in the eighth spot in the 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

However, if the replacement Host is from outside of Europe, then Poland replaces New Zealand in the eighth spot – as per FIBA rules.

BBNZ 3×3 Programme Manager, Nikolay Mikhalchuk says that this is an incredible achievement for New Zealand 3×3 Basketball programmes.

“This year, we’ve placed a strong emphasis on providing our National Teams with the opportunities they need to accumulate enough FIBA 3×3 Federation Ranking points for potential qualification to the 2024 Paris Olympics. Remarkably, our teams have climbed from 53rd to 23rd in the Federation Rankings, which is a significant achievement and shows that we have the right strategy in place,” says Mikhalchuk.

“This has seen our 3×3 athletes participating in competitions in New Zealand and around the world, from the NZ Pro Quest Tours to the FIBA U23 Nations League and FIBA Women’s Series – so it’s a true testament to their commitment that our 3×3 national teams remain in the hunt for an Olympics spot.

“Fingers crossed that our 3×3 Tall Ferns will receive a favourable outcome from FIBA, so they can join the 3×3 Tall Blacks in the first FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The opportunity to represent your country at the Olympics is a massive achievement, and one that our players will be chasing hard over the next eight months.”

Details on the host location for the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, as well as the remaining participants, will be announced by FIBA in December.