The International Basketball Federation's (FIBA) 3BL— 3 x 3 Pro Basketball League will be held in six cities across India from June 9 to August 26. Announcing the event at a press conference in Mumbai, League Commissioner Rohit Bakshi said a dozen teams would be in the fray, featuring Indian stars Amjyot Singh, Palpreet Singh Brar and internationals Bikramjit Gill, Inderbir Singh Gill and Leandro Lima among others.

Present at the launch were NBA sensation Satnam Singh, Amjyot and Palpreet. The winner of the tournament will represent India in the FIBA World Tour.

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“India being a very young country, with half its population under 25 years of age, 3x3 Basketball is definitely going to be very appealing for audiences here,” said Julien Debove 3x3 Senior Communications Manager, FIBA3x3, in a statement released on the occasion. “I’m excited to explore the vast land of opportunities that India presents with 3BL.”

The 10-minute high speed format, which became an Olympic sport last year, will be introduced in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Yoshia Kato, Chairman, 3BL, said, “Seeing the performance of Indian origin players in the sport, we decided to start the first ever FIBA-recognised 3x3 basketball league in India. We plan to make a serious impact on the growth of this sport in the country.”

“Basketball has a fascinating story in India. Till a few years ago, most people didn’t know anything about 3x3 Basketball and today it poses a serious opportunity,” said Bakshi. “Our aim is to create a new fan base for basketball in India by promoting the 3x3 Basketball at a grassroots level and through wider outreach plans for both viewers and players.”

Kato and Bakshi are partners in YKBK Enterprise Pvt Ltd, which is the exclusive rights holder from FIBA to create and implement an international 3x3 professional basketball league in the Indian sub-continent.

Sudhir Vashist, Chief of Marketing & Business Development, 3BL said, “As the sporting landscape of our country changes and evolves, this short action-packed format will revolutionise basketball in India. It is definitely going to be a very appealing sport for both brands and audiences.”

“This sport is attractive, since people can watch it in lesser time and still get as much entertainment and action as they do from longer format sports,” said Vivek Krishna, Entertainment Director, 3BL. “3x3 Basketball is a highly engaging form of the action-packed game which will charm India, as it has 144 other countries.”