After a year of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, 3×3 basketball was back in full force. The year 2021 was a revival one for Sport Arena Streetball, which has hosted among others, the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final in Jeddah, the FIBA 3×3 Finals at the Palace of Parliament and the Raiffeisen Bank Sport Arena Streetball Tour in the “University of Politehnica”, a circuit that reminded us of the romantic period of the late 2000s.
Following the 2020 season in which Sport Arena Streetball reinvented itself, moving 3×3 basketball competitions online, 2021 was all about the joy of seeing the players and fans again on the fields where the story of this Olympic discipline began, in the “University of Politehnica”, Bucharest.
During the four tournaments, from June to September, the Raiffeisen Bank Sport Arena Streetball Tour was attended by a total of over 2000 players, who played almost 800 3×3 basketball matches. Health, fun, outdoor sports, physical activity and socializing were the key elements of this season, in which the participants in the tournaments also contributed with points in the ranking by nations, for Romania.
Following a strict medical protocol, in accordance with the rules in force at the time of the events, the grounds of the “University of Politehnica” remained COVID-free during the season, without registering any positive case related to the competition.
Olympic vice-champion at fencing, Ana Maria Brânză, actor Anghel Damian or K1 fighter Benny Adegbuyi were among the guests of honor at the events at the “Politehnica”, testing their skills on the basketball court.
The road to the FIBA 3×3 Europe Cup passed again this year through Constanța, which hosted for the third time, one of the qualifying tournaments, in an iconic area for the city, the Casino seafront.
The event held in June was not the only one on the shores of the Black Sea in 2021. The Pearl Square in Mamaia was the scene where, in August, no less than three participants in the Olympic Games, including the Romanian national team, dueled in a FIBA 3×3 Women Series tournament, fighting for a spot in the Bucharest final, that was in September.
The most important basketball moment of the year in Romania was hosting at the Palace of Parliament, the FIBA 3×3 Finals. This event brought together the finals of the U23 world youth circuits, called FIBA 3×3 Nations League for both men and women and the finale of the women’s circuit, the FIBA 3×3 Women Series Final.
Held in the Union Hall, it was the first ever sporting event hosted inside the Palace of Parliament, reaching one of the top three most spectacular 3×3 basketball venues in the world, in a FIBA top, along with the Museumplein in Amsterdam and the Eiffel Tower, from Paris.
The competition was organized in partnership with the Romanian Basketball Federation under the high patronage of the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee and supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the City Hall of Sector 3, was broadcasted worldwide through the FIBA 3×3 YouTube channel, and Romania took the second place in the men’s under-23 competition.
The projects dedicated to youth and the social responsibility, completed a season in which we felt again the joy of playing 3×3 basketball and promoting this discipline that, for the first time ever, has featured the presence of a Romanian basketball team at the Olympic Games.
Streetball2School, a project carried out with the support of the City Hall of Sector 2 and dedicated to high school students, brought 3×3 basketball to the school yard and was a test in terms of infrastructure and organization for the upcoming school competitions.
The SCORE project – Sport in Community: Honor, Respect, Education has integrated for over two months, children from social centers in Bucharest in a program of development and education through sports and physical activities, oriented around 3×3 basketball. The children did various activities of learning and integrating the Olympic values: inclusion, equity, respect. They also had the chance to meet with some Romanian players from the national teams that represent this country and this sport at the highest levels, and with FIBA 3×3 officials. The SCORE project was funded by the “În Stare de Bine Program” supported by Kaufland Romania and implemented by the Association for Civil Society Development.
The Sport Arena Streetball team was also a real globetrotter in 2021, contributing to the organization of events from the FIBA 3×3 calendar in Hungary, Egypt, Lithuania or Slovakia.
It all culminated in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for the second year in a row. The most spectacular event of the year, attended by the 12 best men’s 3×3 basketball teams in the world, was a real celebration of basketball, which included, in addition to the competition itself, an impressive area dedicated to the fans where concerts, contests and other entertaining activities took place.
It is the fourth World Final organized by the Sport Arena Streetball team (Abu Dhabi 2015, 2016, Jeddah 2020, 2021).
The year 2022 is already starting to be at least as spectacular, if not more. Romania obtained the rights to organize the FIBA 3×3 U23 World Cup – 3×3 World Basketball Championships for youth, an event that will take place in October at the Metropolitan Circus in Bucharest and will be organized in partnership with the Romanian Basketball Federation. In fact, the collaboration between the national basketball forum and Sport Arena Streetball has already started when the 3×3 Romanian Cup and the National 3×3 Basketball Championship U17 took place, at the end of last year.
Sport Arena Streetball Tour is preparing for the 17th season in 2022, being one of the longest-lived private sports competitions in Romania, and the members of the Sport Arena Streetball team are ready to spread the passion for 3×3 basketball all over the world, during the international FIBA 3×3 events in which we will participate.
Thanks again to the partners who supported us throughout the 2021 season: Raiffeisen Bank, Mastercard, Superbet, Tissot, Nike, Taco Bell, Serioux, Horizon, Azuga, Red Bull, Complet Medical, Kiss FM.