By Neto Baptiste (Observer Media Group)

In preparation for the International “3 on 3” basketball tournament planned for later this year by the Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA), the local governing body will host an Under-18 instalment of the competition ahead of the pending showdown.

One member of the executive of the Antigua & Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) and coordinator of this weekend’s FIBA, Gemma Hazelwood endorsed 3 on 3 Tournament and explained the purpose of the competition expected to take place on Saturday and Sunday at the JSC basketball complex.

“It’s serving as a qualifier because, in December, the international federation for basketball will be hosting an Under-18 tournament so we have to host our qualifier to select our team to represent the country in that tournament,” he said.

“This [tournament] gives us an opportunity to look at the boys’ play and make a selection, so this is the opportunity to see how the individuals function in the 3 on 3 situation, and then we will select the team of four — because you have one substitute — so we will select the better combination of three to represent the country.”

The format, Hazelwood continued, was introduced to also assist players develop a better understanding of the game.

“One of the structure of the 3 on 3 is to help the players to learn the game, to understand how to make game-time decisions. Currently, Carl Knight and Olena Knight have been working with the team, getting them prepared … helping them to understand the rules because there are very strict rules that go along with the FIBA 3 on 3,” he said.

The executive member also encouraged the public to turn out in support of the free initiative which will cater for all members of the family.

“During the break, we will have things the crowd can get involved in like a three-point shootout, speed dribble, and things like that. On the Sunday, we’re planning to have a little DJ competition in the break [for] young DJs, none of the established ones,” Hazelwood said.

The competition shoots off at 6:30 pm on Saturday and 6 pm on Sunday.