Montreal is set to host one of international streetball’s most prestigious tournaments in each of the next three years.
The FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters will make its Montreal debut from Sept. 7-8, 2019, with an agreement to return in 2020 and 2021.
“Canada has become a hotbed for 3×3 and we are thrilled about the city of Montreal’s decision to host a FIBA 3×3 World Tour in 2019,” said Alex Sanchez, managing director of FIBA 3×3, in a statement.
Montreal becomes the third Canadian city to host a FIBA 3×3 event and the first in Quebec.
Saskatoon has hosted a FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters since 2017, and Edmonton hosted a 3×3 Challenger event for the first time in 2018.
Canada’s men’s national team finished sixth at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup in 2018, and will be vying to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where the sport is set to make its Olympic debut.
“It is just fitting that our 3×3 stars visit the home of the 1976 Summer Olympics, just one year before the game’s Olympic debut in Tokyo,” said Sanchez. FIBA 3×3 is inspired by several forms of streetball played around the world, and is billed as the world’s “number one urban team sport.”
Canada’s best-known player is Michael Linklater, a five-foot-10 guard from Saskatoon who represented Canada at the 2018 World Cup, along with Michael Lieffers, Jermaine Bucknor and Steve Sir.
Linklater previously starred at the University of Saskatchewan, where he led the Huskies to their first and only CIS/U Sports national championship in 2010, with Lieffers as his teammate.
Bucknor and Sir both played professionally in various international leagues and are originally from Edmonton.
Teams can qualify for the Tokyo Olympics by finishing fourth or higher in the FIBA 3×3 Federation Ranking, through an Olympic qualifying tournament, or through a Universality Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
“Montreal and 3×3 have so much in common: dynamic, urban and multicultural,” said Sanchez. “We are looking forward to an exciting event and a genuine urban culture party in this iconic city next year!”
More information about the expanded FIBA 3×3 World Tour, including several new locations, is expected soon.