Basketball

Utsunomiya to host 2019 FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, has been chosen to host next year’s FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final, basketball’s global governing body announced on Friday.

The event is scheduled to be held Nov. 2 and 3, providing local fans with a glimpse of the halfcourt version of the game that will make its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

“Our playground inside the Futaarayama Jinja Shrine has become one of the most iconic venues on the entire FIBA 3×3 World Tour,” said Alex Sanchez, FIBA’s 3×3 managing director.

“Last year the number of spectators grew to 35,000 fans over the weekend, including a lot of familiar faces who came in previous editions, wearing 3×3-branded T-shirts. We feel like home in Utsunomiya and it gives us enormous pride and confidence to bring the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final here. The support of the city of Utsunomiya and Xross Sports Marketing and the backing of all our Japanese fans have played a key role in 3×3 making it to Tokyo 2020.”

According to a FIBA news release, the Utsunomiya event will be staged at an outdoor venue next to JR Utsunomiya Station.

Utsunomiya Mayor Eiichi Sato said he’s excited about the event being awarded to the city.

“We are proud and honored that FIBA chose our city to host the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final,” Sato said.

“This event will be the highest level of 3×3 basketball in 2019 and will bring to Utsunomiya the stars who will compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. I can’t wait for the people from Utsunomiya to get a chance to see the most exciting event in the world.”