New hope to add 3-on-3 basketball at Rio Olympics

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 29, 2014 at 11:59 am •  Published: January 29, 2014

GENEVA (AP) — The international basketball federation has renewed hope its street-inspired 3-on-3 game could yet be played at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Reports in Brazil suggested new medal events could yet be added after IOC President Thomas Bach visited last week.

"If this matter is re-opened, 3-on-3 is ready," FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday. "We know that the organizing committee in Rio would not mind."

The half-court version of basketball was strongly favored to debut at the Rio Olympics until the International Olympic Committee leadership closed a program review last July.

That unexpected decision followed widespread protests against Brazil's government and FIFA during the Confederations Cup. The warm-up tournament one year ahead of the World Cup was overshadowed by anger at major spending on sports events instead of public services such as schools, hospitals and transport.

Baumann said the IOC's assessment of 3-on-3 had been "a positive review, we know that for a fact."

Street basketball was the hit at the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore and seemed to fit the IOC's goal of modernizing the games and appealing to younger viewers.

"In Rio there is a very strong street culture. It fits extremely well there," said Baumann, who cautioned that Bach did not guarantee a fresh program review.

Brazilian media picked up on state president Dilma Rousseff's written suggestion to the IOC to consider adding the Star sailing class in Rio.