Seattle Storm owners create the first independently owned pro women’s 3×3 team in the United States
Seattle Storm owners, Force 10 Sports Management, establish the first independently owned professional women’s 3×3 team in the United States. The first signees of the team include Cierra Burdick, Alexis Peterson, Linnae Harper and Megan Huff.
While a long-term goal of the team is to prepare players for qualification for the United States 3×3 Olympic team at the Tokyo 2020 games, the squad will begin with a training camp this summer in Seattle before competing in the Red Bull 3X series. The Red Bull tournament is a FIBA-sanctioned event and a partnership with USA Basketball. It takes place in over 20 cities across the U.S.
Players will accumulate points in FIBA’s ranking system. Top players earn consideration for the U.S.’s 2020 3×3 team. It will be the first time that the Summer Olympics includes 3×3 basketball as an official event.
The 3×3 game takes place on a half court with a 12-second shot clock. The team that reaches 21 points first or has the most points at the end of 10 minutes win. Shots inside the arc are one point. Those outside the arc are two points.
“This is an exciting pilot program that aims to support the national efforts to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, while also creating new opportunities for women in the game,” Alisha Valavanis, CEO of Force 10 Sports Management, said. “This is a platform for our organization and these athletes to help shape the direction of a new sport, and engage new women’s basketball fans worldwide.”
The Los Angeles Sparks selected Burdick (Tennessee) in the 2015 WNBA draft. Peterson (Syracuse) was the 2017 ACC Player of the Year and went to the Storm in the 2017 draft. In 2018, the Chicago Sky signed Harper (Ohio State). Huff (Utah), went to the New York Liberty in the 2019 WNBA draft but the team waived her before the beginning of the regular season.
The Tokyo 2020 3×3 competition features eight women’s teams and eight men’s competing July 25-29. The International Olympic Committee and FIBA announced the addition of the game to the Olympic program June 9, 2017.