Battling against the British summertime weather, 16 lucky teams enjoyed an action packed day of basketball as part of the first ever 3x3 School Hoops Festival today.
With seven purpose built outdoor courts set up across City Square, the pedestrian area next to Manchester City’s iconic Etihad Stadium, the scene was set for the young players involved to bring their A-game to this unique and inspiring setting. Despite a damp start, the action warmed up as quickly as the weather, ensuring a fantastic day for all involved.
With 7 different schools involved across the Year 8 Boys, Year 7 Boys and Year 7/8 Girls competitions, the 3x3 School Hoops Festival formed part of a new pilot programme targeting players in their early teens and was organised in partnership between Manchester City Council, FIBA Academy, World Academy of Sport, and Basketball England.
Manchester is keen to play a big part in the global growth of 3x3 in the build-up to Tokyo 2020 and Birmingham 2022 where 3x3 basketball is set to feature. The School Hoops programme aims to drive 3x3 engagement from the grassroots level, helping to inspire the future stars of the game in the smaller sided format.
"The 3x3 game is really enjoyable for players of all ages and abilities,” Basketball England’s Gail Richards said. “It keeps the players engaged and today was a really fantastic event. A big thank you to Manchester City Council and FIBA Academy for their assistance with the Festival, it’s been a big success!”
After some hard fought games in the group stages, the knock out rounds of the quarters, semis and finals provided some nail-biting action. In the Year 7 Boys competition, St. Peter’s A found a way past Wright Robinson to take glory, though Wright Robinson were able to claim the Year 8 Boys title after victory over Trinity School. The Year 7/8 Girls competition was won by Whalley Range High School after they narrowly defeated Trinity School.
The players were also able to enjoy some expert advice from Dahlia Monteiro, Skills Contest gold medalist at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup 2017. After the group stages had concluded, the teams took part in a skills contest on the area's main court and the young Swiss player put on an expert demonstration before the local players had a go themselves. With passing, shooting and dribbling sections, the skills competition proved a real test for the young players as they battled against the clock as well as each other!
City Square will play host to more 3x3 action again tomorrow as both senior and junior teams from across the land will descend on Manchester as part of a wider 3x3 event. There will be full updates on the Basketball England Twitter and Instagram pages, which you can find using the buttons below.