The U.S. men failed to qualify for the Olympic debut of 3×3 basketball, while a women’s team of WNBA standouts did qualify for the Tokyo Games.
Stefanie Dolson, Kelsey Plum, Allisha Gray and Katie Lou Samuelson made up the U.S. women’s team that qualified for Tokyo by placing in the top three at a tournament in Graz, Austria, that was postponed 14 months and moved from India due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Robbie Hummel, an All-Big Ten forward at Purdue who briefly retired in 2017 after playing in the NBA and overseas, headlined a less-heralded U.S. men’s team that was eliminated in the quarterfinals by the Netherlands 21-16.
Hummel, who led the U.S. to the 2019 World title, was joined in Graz by Dominique Jones, Kareem Maddox and Joey King, none of whom have played an NBA regular-season game. Active NBA players do not compete in international 3×3 competition and were not going to be on the Olympic team, had the U.S. men qualified.
This marks the first time in history that the U.S. failed to qualify for an Olympic men’s or women’s basketball event. It qualified for the 32 traditional Olympic basketball tournaments and earned a medal all 30 times in participated (excluding the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games, for which both teams qualified).
In 3×3, half-court games end after 10 minutes or once a team scores 21 in an outdoor venue. There’s a 12-second shot clock. Made shots count for one point, or two points if beyond the arc.
Olympic 3×3 is an eight-nation tournament for each gender. The top three nations in the men’s world rankings as of Nov. 1, 2019, automatically qualified. The U.S. was ranked fifth at the time, behind Serbia, Russia, China and Mongolia, despite winning the world title four months earlier.
In Tokyo, the U.S. women’s team is likely to be made up of some of the top WNBA players who will not be on the 12-woman team in traditional basketball.
Dolson, Plum, Gray, Samuelson and Napheesa Collier, who was originally named to the 3×3 qualifying team then replaced by Samuelson, are among the 29 total players in the U.S. women’s national team pool.
The 12-woman roster in five-on-five basketball is also expected to be drawn from that pool.
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— FIBA3x3 (@FIBA3x3) May 30, 2021