As you'll know by now, the #HulaHoops3x3 is coming to Dundrum Town Centre on Saturday, the 12th of May. The competition will pit many of the finest basketball players in Ireland up against each other in an intense tournament with a cash prize on the line.
#HulaHoops3x3 will be a great opportunity to witness live sport free of cost in a unique location. It was also be a brilliant glimpse into one of the fastest-growing sports in the world right now: 3x3 basketball. The game is proving so popular that in 2017, 3x3 basketball was selected as one of the newest Olympics sports. While all basketball fans look forward to seeing the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant light up the Olympics in Tokyo, the 3x3 basketball games will be equally, if not more, intense due to the unique, intimate nature of the game.
Conor Meany, commercial director for Basketball Ireland, had the following to say when asked why he's so excited for the tournament.
"It's a lot like the basketball equivalent of beach volleyball" he said. "There's music, a party atmosphere, there's bleachers to watch the game from, inflatables, mascots, stuff like that. There'll be plenty for the kids to do."
Here's how Dusan Bulut, the FIBA 3x3 world number one-ranked player explained the appeal of the sport to the IOC website last year:
Everybody has fun. The players, the audience, they have a really good time, they are surrounded by music, it’s in the open air...It's global, it’s urban, it’s a show.
The rules of 3x3 basketball are slightly different. Peter Coonan of Love/Hate described how the sport works in the following viral video.
But don't just take our word for it. YouTube is full of great clips showing the beauty of 3x3 hoops. This clip from Vice Sports on the best team in the world - a Serbian side - shows why the sport has grown so popular this decade.
This week, Basketball Ireland released the fixture list for #HulaHoops3x3. Most of Ireland's best teams will be on hand. Make sure you're there for a memorable day for Irish basketball.