The inaugural ANOC World Beach Games begin Saturday, Oct. 12, in Doha, Qatar. It’s a seven-sport tournament that provides another avenue for the world to see 3x3 basketball prior to its Olympics debut in 2020.
Unlike sports like soccer and handball, which will take place on the beach itself, basketball will take place on a court — an outdoor court on the beach, yes, but these athletes won’t have to face the issue of figuring out how to dribble on the sand.
As they continue to gain experience in preparation for Olympic qualification, the United States is sending another young squad to this tournament: Napheesa Collier and Jackie Young, who just completed their first seasons in the WNBA; Ruthy Hebard, senior at Oregon; and Paige Bueckers, the top 2020 recruit who is committed to the University of Connecticut.
Hebard has by far the most senior national 3x3 experience, having participated in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 national championships, the 2018 World Cup and the gold medal-winning 2019 Pan American Games team. Bueckers (2018) and Collier (2014) are both Youth Olympic Games 3x3 gold medalists, while this is Young’s first-ever FIBA event in any discipline.
The 16-team 3x3 basketball tournament, in which the No. 20 United States will compete in the four-team Group A, will take place on Katara Beach. Other Group A participants include No. 30 Dominican Republic, No. 54 Jordan and No. 1 Russia, who took silver in the 2018 3x3 World Cup. (The United States team of Hebard, Sabrina Ionescu, Erin Boley and Oti Gildon defeated Russia in the group stage of that tournament.)
The World Beach Games will be broadcast on the Olympic Channel. It is unclear at presstime how much of this broadcast will include 3x3 basketball.
United States vs. Dominican Republic: Sunday, Oct. 13, at 8:25 a.m. ET
United States vs. Jordan: Sunday, Oct. 13, at 11:45 a.m. ET
United States vs. Russia: Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 8 a.m. ET
Quarterfinals, Semifinals: Wednesday, Oct. 16; times will be listed pending USA qualification
Bronze Medal Game: Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 12:30 p.m. ET
Gold Medal Game: Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 1:20 p.m. ET