Tokyo Olympics this summer. For the first time, 3×3 basketball became part of the program in games. Even better: the Dutch gentlemen managed to position themselves last week with a team made up entirely of Amsterdam.
In Austria, Arvin Slagter, Dimeo van der Horst, Jessey Voorn and Julian Jaring achieved it. She lost her first two qualifying matches, against Latvia and Canada, but then started to go smoothly. After the victories over Austria and Croatia, this was followed by a semi-final match against the United States and a final against the French. They also won. “I have to be honest, I never dared to dream about it,” Demio honestly admits.
“I must be honest, I never dared to dream about it”
This is partly because this amazing sport has never been liked in games until now. Compared to “classic” basketball, there are a few other differences in addition to the number of players.
For example, in 3×3 basketball, the two teams call one basket. Teams play for ten minutes unless the team has scored 21 points. With each possession, the ball must first be scored outside the circle before it can score and each attack has 12 seconds. If you score from outside the circle, that equals two points inside the circle which gives you one point.
So the first goal, qualifying for Tokyo is a reality. But the ambitions of basketball players extend far beyond that. “This gold medal is one hundred percent attainable,” says Jesse. “We’re not going there for anything else,” DeMio adds. “We’re up now, and we’ve got to win it too.”
The Olympic Games begin on July 23.
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