A new 3X3 community basketball event called the ‘Seven Stars Invitational’ will tip off this Saturday night in Epsom, Auckland, as Basketball New Zealand look to encourage women’s 3X3 playing opportunities.
Extraordinarily, this is a community event, but will help power the New Zealand women’s team towards their goal of winning a Commonwealth Games medal. This is because FIBA require national federations to build FIBA ranking points for their national teams to qualify. One of the ways these points are earned is through 3X3 events run by the community.
High Performance Director Leonard King says the New Zealand women’s 3X3 team has proven international success, having won a silver in the FIBA 3X3 U18 World Cup in 2019 and Gold in the FIBA 3X3 Asia Cup in 2018. Now, King says, New Zealand needs more 3X3 playing opportunities.
“The Schick 3X3 Cup in the NBL is fantastic – that’s really lifted 3X3 in New Zealand. Now we need more competitive 3X3 opportunities, for women especially. That’s what the Seven Stars Invitational is about. This first one is a pilot, but there might be another Seven Stars Invitational Auckland or a Seven Stars Invitational Canterbury or Wellington. We hope other regions will see this and think ‘we should do that!’”
King says Basketball New Zealand welcomes clubs and associations to run 3X3 basketball events like this pilot, in their own regions, and support the national team in the process.
“It’s well known that eligibility for most international FIBA 3×3 competitions is based on 3X3 ranking points. We are in a tight battle to secure enough points ahead of the Commonwealth Games. Other nations are stepping up and generating more points through events like this Seven Stars Invitational idea. We are asking the basketball community to embrace 3X3 and run regular 3X3 events in their regions. It’s great for their participants and a nice spin off is that they build ranking points for the country.”
King says upon suggesting the idea of the Seven Stars Invitational to established NBL teams in the upper North Island, teams signed up quickly to support the idea, including the Auckland Dream, Harbour Breeze and Waikato. Big names include the Sky Sport squad members Esra McGoldrick, Ella Fotu, Katelin Noyer and the Leger-Walker sisters. Schick Cup 2020 winners Casyn Buchman and Amanda Wayment will be there. Other well-known names include Manuirirangi, the Schuler sisters, Vucinic, Pupuke-Robati, Clarke, Kailahi-Fulu, Flavell and more.
The name of the event was inspired by Matariki, with this inaugural event held within the month that Matariki occurs.
Any association or private provider can set up a 3X3 event using FIBA’s game software, Eventmaker. Anyone with a Play.Fiba3x3.com profile can also set up a login to Eventmaker, create events, schedules and post results. By running their event through that system, the women’s New Zealand team gathers 3X3 points. Learning how to use this platform is easy. Free training is available by emailing 3×firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What: Seven Stars 3X3 Invitational
- Where: Epsom Girls’ Grammar School, Auckland.
- Date: Saturday, 10 July 2021
- Tip off: 7pm
More information on Play.Fiba3x3: