AMMAN — While the team failed to score wins, the fact that Jordan is West Asia's and Arabs' only representative at FIBA's First 3x3 World Championship for Men and Women is a stepping stone and milestone for the game.
The inaugural event which concluded in Athens, Greece, on Sunday brought together 24 teams competing in four groups of six. Jordan represented by Dana Faddah, Ruby Habash, Dina Halaseh and Lubna Nasser, lost to Turkey 16-12, Romania 13-6, Russia 21-3, England 18-7 and Spain 15-8. Four teams from each group qualified to the second round of the event.
FIBA invited teams from active countries to send national teams to its World Championships and Jordan was selected to play in three out the four national team events. The Jordan Basketball Federation (JBF) sent its Women's 3x3 national team to Athens and is next set to compete in FIBA 3x3 2nd Annual Youth World Championship for U-18 boys and girls slated for Spain in September.
“It was a great experience. I plan to go back, work harder and hopefully be back in other competitions,” Faddah told FIBA in an interview. Faddah also took part in the inaugural mixed 3x3 event where Jordan combined with two Lebanese players.
In 3x3 events, national teams play the World Championship while the World Tour is open to individuals and clubs annually. FIBA requires players to take part in one of the FIBA 3x3 endorsed events like the Riyadi Umniah 3x3 Challenge, organised earlier this summer, in order to get a chance at World Tours and later on the World Championships and get a world ranking.
There are five qualifying events to the World Tour Finals this year in Istanbul, New York, Sao Paolo, Madrid and Vladivostok. Four teams from each will move to the 3x3 Basketball World Championship in Miami, Florida.
Jordanian basketball fans and players are increasingly taking more interest in 3x3 basketball as the newest aspect for Jordan's No. 2 sport. Endorsed by the sports governing body FIBA, Riyadi Club held the Riyadi-Umniah 3x3 Challenge which qualified two teams to Istanbul World Tour Masters which in turn qualifies teams to the World Championship.
“We had 28 teams and aim to have 64 next year with more family oriented activities next year,” Riyadi Secretary General Fadi Sabbah earlier told The Jordan Times.
Riyadi also organised its 5th annual 3x3 Basketball Championship where players representing clubs and schools played for six titles: U-13, U-15, U-17, free throw, dunk, 3-point shooting.
As head of the 3x3 committee at the JBF and representative of the West Asia Zone in the Asian Basketball Confederation, Sabbah represented the region in the 3x3 seminar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where experts from the continent put forth a comprehensive strategy to develop the sport.
“Having strong teams will enable Jordan to take a leading role in hosting and organising 3x3 tournaments which are important in the development of the game and gaining added interest from FIBA,” Sabbah noted.
Last year, Jordan took part it the First Invitational Youth World Championship in Rimini, Italy, where the boys team finished 16th among 32 teams and the girls 21st.