Elijah Price loves basketball but when he left the United States to work in New Zealand for a year, he was not sure how many opportunities he would get to play.
He was pleasantly surprised.
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On Saturday, Price was in one of about 40 teams competing at the Tauranga edition of the New Zealand Basketball 3x3 Quest Tour.
3×3, also known as street ball or street basketball, is played three a side on one hoop with no coaches. In Tokyo this year, the format will be included at the Olympics for the first time.
Price said he enjoyed the pace and freedom of 3x3.
"It was an awesome experience. It was cool to see because obviously New Zealand's not as well known for basketball so it's cool to see New Zealand embracing it and holding tournaments like this.
"I played in quite a few in the States so it was exciting to see the differences and the similarities, I was quite surprised with the turn out as well, there were tonnes of people.
"3x3 creates an opportunity for a not so structured game, you don't worry as much, it's a really raw version of the game which creates a lot of fun opportunities to try new things. You're just out there to really have fun and play hard."
He said his biggest learning point from Saturday was the physicality required to do well.
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"You really need to be very physical and strong but under control as well. We were surprisingly one of the smaller teams, which I wasn't really expecting, but there were teams where we just couldn't even compete because they were so physically strong it made it so difficult to do much."
Basketball New Zealand 3x3 and national events manager David Huxford said there were highly skilled players in action throughout the tournament on Saturday, in a format which was becoming more and more popular.
"It went really well, we had about 40 teams and 21 of those were in the open men's category which shows the message is getting out about the strength of the prize they can get out of it.
"The winning team from yesterday gets to go to the final in Christchurch at the end of March and if the win that they get a fully funded trip to Japan to play in a Fiba World Tour event. The level of skill was surprisingly good on Saturday, we had a few come down from Auckland as well.
"It will be in the Olympics this year and we have seen a growth, especially in those age groups that can qualify. Internationally, there are a lot more countries participating in 3x3 now as well. We were early adopters of the sport and because of that we won the under-18 World Cup twice for the men but that's a lot harder now."
Tauranga division winners
Youthtown Senior Boys:
Youthtown Junior Girls: The Muppets.
Youthtown U15 Male: Slurpee.
Open Men: RSB.
Saturday, February 22: Wellington, Odlins Plaza, Wellington Waterfront.
Sunday, March 1: Dunedin, The Octagon, Dunedin.
Saturday, March 7: Christchurch, Hagley Park Netball Courts.
Saturday, March 28: Christchurch, tour final, Ara Gym.