The NBL is set to host of 3x3 Hustle 'March Mania', with events planned for the Moomba Festival, Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix, Arnold Sports Festival and Geelong Waterfront this March.
While Australia's men have bowed out of contention for the sport's debut at the 2020 Olympic Games, Australia’s women have secured a berth at the Olympic Qualifiers to be played in India from 18-22 March 2020. They will be one of 20 teams vying for just 3 tickets to the Olympics.
"March Mania will bring the best 3x3 basketball to Australia in what is a historic year for the sport as it makes its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games," outlined 3x3Hustle Director and NBL Chief Operating Officer Andy Crook in the official release.
“March Mania will showcase the sport's elite talent, give everyone a chance to participate and help continue the rapid growth of 3x3 basketball in Australia."
At the elite level, March Mania will include three 3x3 Pro Hustle events, two of which will double as FIBA 3x3 Satellite tournaments (Moomba and Grand Prix). The third 3x3 Pro Hustle will be the National Final which will be hosted by Geelong.
Entry to the Moomba and Grand Prix events is steep, carrying an $800 fee for entry into both events or $500 for just one. With no events held outside of Victoria in 2020, those interstate looking to make their mark in 3x3 basketball could find participation in the 3x3 Pro Hustle series a costly exercise.
The NBL has confirmed with The Pick and Roll that the the winning men's and women's teams will receive equal prize money which will be announced soon. In addition, the winning men's teams will earn direct qualification into a future FIBA 3x3 Challenger event, with 3x3Hustle covering flights to the Challenger for all four players.
While the NBL is working closely with other states to bring future 3x3Hustle events to their regions, they advised that the best opportunities this year were located in Victoria. With funding from the Victorian Government's Significant Sporting Events Program (SSEP) and Regional Events Fund (REF), Geelong will host the 2020 3x3 Pro Hustle Final.
A number of current and former NBL players are expected to feature in March Mania as well as members of the Australian women’s team which is aiming to qualify for Tokyo, led by Asian Cup MVP Bec Cole.