As Jamaica prepares to bow into competition at the FIBA AmeriCup 3×3 competition that begins Friday (November 12), the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) has pledged to continue its support to the Jamaica Basketball Association (JABA) as it pursues its goals of qualifying teams to the next Olympic Games.
The JABA senior men and women’s national teams will participate in the tournament at Bayfront Park, Miami from Friday through to Sunday.
This is the first time Jamaica will be fielding teams in any international 3×3 basketball event and its President, Paulton Gordon, outlined that is a pathway to Olympic Games competition.
“This is the first phase of qualification for more advanced FIBA 3×3 events, which ultimately could lead to qualification for the Paris Olympics 2024,” said Gordon.
“The tournament will attract 18 national male teams and 15 female teams spanning North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean.”
JABA’s venture now has the full backing of the JOA as according to Gordon, the popularity of the 3×3 version of the game is rapidly gaining momentum among urban populations and is becoming a staple in all multi-games events.
“The JOA is excited about Jamaica’s entry into this new version of basketball. We are enthused to have partnered with JABA to the tune of $1.2 million in their qualification bid for the Olympic Games,” said JOA Secretary-General and CEO Ryan Foster.
“JABA has been making strides in not only this version of the sport, but in general, with their training programmes, for which they also benefited from the ‘Elite Coaching Programme’ introduced in 2018 by the JOA.”
Pointing to the recently-concluded Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Foster said such contributions can have a lasting impact on sport development.
Battling Haiti and Aruba for the remaining spot in Pool C, Jamaica vies for a spot in this weekend’s FIBA 3×3 AmeriCup in Miami, Florida.
“The JOA will continue to make meaningful contributions to our members and such contributions we have seen have had far-reaching impacts such as the first-time qualification of judo in Japan and boxing taking its rightful place on the Olympic stage after 26 years’ absence,” he said.
“Our members are a big deal for us and the classification of ‘big’ and ‘small’ sports is not in our DNA. ‘Sports for All’ is now fully ingrained in our psyche.”
At the FIBA Ameri-Cup 3×3 tournament, teams can earn ranking points that will qualify them for Commonwealth Games, CAC Games and the PanAm Games, en route to Paris 2024.
In the men’s category, Jamaica will play against Uruguay and Haiti in the group phase to determine which team advances to the main draw.
The women will match skills in group play against Guatemala, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, in their quest to advance to the later phases.