The fledgling BIG3 basketball league will start its inaugural season this June. The 3-on-3 league, started by rapper Ice Cube, features former NBA players like Allen Iverson, Jason Williams and Mike Bibby.
Maybe Ice Cube was on to something. 3-on-3 basketball might become more mainstream in the coming years after the International Olympic Committee announced that the sport would be added for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
The sport was among 15 new events added by the executive board of the International Olympic Committee on Friday, according to a press release from the IOC. Other notable events added include:
- Mixed doubles in table tennis
- Men and women’s team events in fencing
- 4x400 meter mixed relay in track
- Mixed team relay in the triathlon
- Men and women’s BMX freestyle
- 800-meter men’s freestyle
- 1500-meter women’s freestyle
- 4x100-meter mixed medley relay in swimming
Those 15 events were added to the five new sports added to the event program in August 2016: surfing, sport climbing, baseball/softball, skateboarding and karate.
According to the IOC, it experimented with 3-on-3 basketball at the Youth Olympic Games in 2010 and 2014. There will be 64 athletes participating in the half-court tournament. A venue for the tournament could be announced in July, according to a report from ABC.
“The dream of a path from the streets to the Olympic Games has become reality for all the basketball community,” FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann told ABC.
Even with the added sports and events, there will be 285 less athletes from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. There will be 10,616 athletes who participate in the 2020 Olympic Games.
However, with the addition of several mixed events, the IOC expects women to account for 48.8 percent of athletes in Tokyo. 45.6 percent of athletes were female at the 2016 Olympics.