Belarus to host European Streetball Championship U18 in 2015


Belarus to host European Streetball Championship U18 in 2015

It used to be considered as a street fun game. It was a kind of  consolation for those who could not make it to the standard league, or those who are finishing their sports career. There are very few people who could name “3x3” professional basketball players.

Over the last few years there has been some improvement in relation towards streetball on the part of the International and European Basketball Federation. Even the International Olympic Committee could not but notice the new interest of the public towards streetball.

It is a very different atmosphere hovering in the air, different style and type of athlete-spectator relations. Now the street game “3x3” is part of the Youth Olympics competition program.

Our country is also engaged in the popular tendency: Kosta Iliev’s visit (director of the FIBA) showed Belarus’ interest in that sport and our ability to host the European Championship. The distinguished guest was reserved, but in the end, he assured the CTV channel crew: there will be support from their side.

Kosta Iliev, director of the FIBA department “3x3”:
The Basketball Federation will make a bid to host one of our best championships very soon: the European and world youth competitions. It they will come out a success, we will think of organizing something for senior athletes.

In a few days, it was announced that Belarus is hosting the 3x3 U18 Championship. The championship is not among the top streetball tournaments but this is the beginning for Belarus.

Maxim Ryzhenkov. President of the Belarusian Basketball Federation:
It is a very important step forward: for the first time, our country is hosting a championship of such a high importance. Some 32 teams will be competing, boys and girls. We are planning it very thoroughly.

The secret of streetball’s popularity is simple: flat open-air fenced playground and a couple of rings. And of course seats for spectators.

It is also very liberal: you can stand near the playground and watch, or you can seat if you want. Literally, there is no gap between players and supporters.

Yegor Mescheryakov, vice-president of the Belarusian Basketball Federation:
Streetball brings together athletes and supporters. It is very democratic in terms of rules for supporters, and usually there is music during this basketball festive event.

Alexander Kul, director of the Center of economic development and sports marketing of BC Tsmoki:
Anyway, it all started with street basketball, with no rules and very violent victories. They brushed it up eventually, and it became streetball.

The rules are not that complicated: a half-ground game, one should step out of the three-point line to change the game direction. Distant scoring is worth two points, while close-by scoring one point. The battle continues until one of the teams scores 21, or the referee ends the game.

For those who combine basketball and streetball, it may be hard to get used to the new rules as well as to the different ball: it is smaller in the 3x3 game.

Streetball players:
The game is much faster. The decisions should be made and combinations played faster than in the 5x5 format game. I am very glad to see such a competition in Belarus. I’d wish to see players from other countries.

The upcoming European championship brings Belarus many advantages. First, our players will not compete in the qualification. It is a priceless experience. Second, we will have a chance to demonstrate our organizational capacities.

No one has complained so far. One can expect the European Streetball Championship to be a success, as our country loves basketball.