The first leg of the Burger King 3X3 Quest Tour begins this Saturday in Whangarei, the newest town to be added to the 3x3 National Basketball Tour.

Basketball New Zealands 3x3 Manager, David Huxford, says hes expecting a good turnout from local players who have travelled to play in the event in the past.

"Weve had a number of players from the Northland region enter Tour events in the past, so we thought why not bring the Tour to Northland. Weve been looking to extend the tour by one more destination this year and Whangarei was ideal because there is a strong player base there. The local associations have also got in behind the 3x3 format.

"Already Te Tai Tokerau Basketball Association, The Northland Suns Basketball and Northland Secondary Schools Sport have all recently completed training to make them FIBA Endorsed providers of 3x3, so Im certain therell be even more opportunities for players to add to their FIBA 3x3 ranking points once the Tour has moved on to another centre around the country - but the Burger King Quest Tour is a great way to start out and promote the game locally."

The 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 on 25 March next year for the right to represent their city at a World Tour Masters in Asia.

"The final stop of the tour is the World Tour Qualifier at The Cloud, so whoever wins that will win an all-expenses paid trip to Asia and compete at the World Tour Masters," says Huxford.

FIBA rules state that international players who compete in World Championships or the World Tour must have played in at least two FIBA endorsed events and accumulate points on 3x3Planet, FIBAs portal for 3x3 events.

"The Burger King 3x3 Quest Tour gives players a great opportunity to be spotted by the national 3x3 talent selector. In 2017, Basketball New Zealand will be sending 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 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 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:


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.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Basketball New Zealand