Southland and Otago will be New Zealands 3x3 basketball capital this weekend as the Burger King 3X3 Quest Tour descends upon Invercargill this Saturday and Dunedin on Sunday.

Basketball New Zealands 3x3 Manager, David Huxford, says the tours return to the lower South Island is likely to attract more players than ever, with the added flair of international teams travelling from Queenstown.

"A good portion of Queenstowns population are people on working visas who hail from basketball mad countries. Theyve noticed the tournament and now weve got Brazilian and Spanish teams signing up to take on the locals in both venues. Although, the locals are coming out in force to defend their home turf - Invercargill has already doubled the number of teams this year from what had registered last year."

Its the global nature and easy participation of the 3x3 format that Huxford says is driving FIBAs ambitions to build the 3x3 World Tour, where the winners of national events go on to represent their hometown at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour.

"The Burger King 3x3 Tour has official Quest status, which means that the winner of the Open Mens grade at each event will compete at the World Tour Qualifier Final. We host that event at The Cloud on 25 March. Whoever wins the Open Mens grade at The Cloud will win an all-expenses paid trip to Asia and the right to represent their city at a FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Japan," says Huxford.

"The Tour gives players an opportunity to be spotted by the national 3x3 talent selector. This year Basketball New Zealand will send five teams overseas to play in FIBA 3x3 events, so were looking for some really talented players to sign up. And who knows, maybe theres a few future Olympians in the bunch - one of the most exciting events this year will be the announcement in June by the IOC as to whether or not 3x3 will be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Weve been directing our 3x3 programme towards this, so were waiting for the announcement with baited breath."

Building on three successful tours over previous summers, the Burger King 3X3 Quest Tour runs from 26 November through to 25 March at the final event at The Cloud in Auckland. The event is open to under 15, under 17, under 19, and Open age-groups in both mens and womens categories.

Huxford says players must be registered on 3x3Planet.com to enter.

"On 3x3Planet, players can enter events, track their results and compare their FIBA ranking to their friends and other 3X3 players internationally. Its extremely important that all players have an official 3x3Planet.com profile when they play in the Tour. Creating a profile is easy and only takes about three minutes. Once theyve created their 3x3Planet account all they need to do is respond to the confirmation email and theyre ready to play."

Burger King Quest 3X3 Tour Schedule:

DATE LOCATION VENUE

Sat 26 Nov 2016 Whangarei Whangarei Netball Courts

Sat 03 Dec 2016 New Plymouth Waiwhakaiho Netball Courts

Sat 10 Dec 2016 North Shore (Auckland) Westlake Girls High School (covered netball courts)

Sat 17 Dec 2016 Rotorua The Energy Events Centre (carpark)

Sat 14 Jan 2017 Mangere (Auckland) Otahuhu Netball Centre, David Lange Park.

Sat 21 Jan 2017 Tauranga Blake Park Tennis Courts, Mt Maunganui

Sat 28 Jan 2017 Henderson (Auckland) Trusts Arena (indoors)

Sat 11 Feb 2017 Nelson Tahunanui Beach Tennis Courts

Sat 18 Feb 2017 Christchurch Hagley Park Netball Courts

Sat 25 Feb 2017 Invercargill Invercargill Netball Centre, Surrey Park Road

Sun 26 Feb 2017 Dunedin The Octagon

Sat 05 Mar 2017 Palmerston North Waldegrave Street carpark

Sat 11 Mar 2017 Wellington Odlins Plaza Wellington Waterfront

Sat 18 Mar 2017 Hamilton Garden Place Hamilton

Sat 25 Mar 2017 Auckland Central- The Cloud, 89 Quay Street, Auckland

- This event will be both a normal Burger King 3x3 Quest Tour event (minus Open men's grade) plus the World Tour Qualifier Final for eligible Open Men's teams from throughout New Zealand.

More information:

www.basketball.org.nz/3X3
3x3Planet.com
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Basketball New Zealand