Former Zag Ira Brown, USA Win FIBA 3x3 Openers in Athens
ATHENS, Greece - Former Gonzaga University basketball player Ira Brown and his 3x3 teammates opened the FIBA 3x3 World Championships for Men going 2-0 in preliminary games Thursday.
The USA Men's 3x3 World Championship Team (2-0) opened with a 17-14 victory over Turkey (1-1) and followed that up with a 20-14 win over Egypt (0-2). The USA women also went 2-0.
"The atmosphere here in Athens was great," said USA Basketball 3x3 Director Travis Johnson. "Each team had two solid wins today and we're looking for more of the same tomorrow."
In addition to Brown (Corsicana, Texas), the 2012 USA 3x3 men's team consists of Adetayo Adesanya (Naperville, Ill.), Tyree Hardge (Surprise, Ariz.) and Allen DuBois Williams (Tempe, Ariz.).
The inaugural FIBA 3x3 World Championship features 24 men's teams and 24 women's national teams divided into four preliminary round groups of six teams each. The U.S. men next face England (2-0) and Lebanon (0-2) on Friday, Aug. 24, and close out preliminary play Saturday against Romania (1-1). The top four finishing teams advance to the Eight Finals to be played Saturday, with winners advancing to the quarterfinals that will also be played Saturday. The semifinals, and the bronze and gold medal games, will be played Aug. 26.
All the games on Court 1 will be streamed live online daily at www.ert.gr/webtv/web-tv-live/ert-websport1-live, and will include the USA men's game versus England on Friday (8:20 a.m. PDT) and the game against Romania on Saturday (8:00 a.m. PDT).
Also featured during the weekend will be a skills contest for women, a dunk contest for men and a shootout contest for both men and women. The skills qualifying round will be held Friday, while the qualifying dunk and shootout contest rounds will be held Saturday. All finals will take place Sunday. Diggins will represent the U.S. in the skills contest while Brown, famous for his high-flying dunks for the Bulldogs, will be the USA's representative for the dunk contest. Under FIBA's 3x3 rules, each game will consist of one 10-minute period, with one 1:00 overtime period if needed. If the game is still tied after the first overtime, a second and final overtime is played and the first team to score two points wins. The team leading after completion of regular playing time, or the first team to score 21 points is declared the winner. Shots made outside the arc are awarded two points, shots made inside the arc are awarded one point, and each made free throw is worth one point. Additionally, a 12-second shot clock is utilized.