Team USA is officially headed to the Paris Olympics to compete in all four basketball events.
The United States earned a bid in the men’s 3-on-3 basketball for next summer’s 2024 Games, FIBA announced Tuesday. The men’s team will compete in the games for the first time, and join the women’s 3-on-3 team as they attempt to defend their title from the 2021 Games in Tokyo.
USA Basketball is now the first federation to get four basketball teams into the Paris Games. The top-three ranked teams in each category earned automatic bids.
The men’s 3-on-3 team missed qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, which was the first Games to host the sport. The women’s team won gold in the event, and the full men’s and women’s teams each won gold. The men’s 3-on-3 team won gold at the Pan Am games last month, however, which helped it jump up in the standings.
“Making it to the Olympics, that’s what it’s been all about for us,” former BYU star and 3-on-3 player Jimmer Fredette said, via The Associated Press. “It means a ton. The opportunity to be able to represent our country at the Olympics would be an amazing experience. I’ve been fortunate enough to represent our country a few times, but the Olympics is a whole different level.”
It’s unclear who will make up the four teams for the Olympics next summer. Rosters aren’t expected to be filled out for any of the four teams until next spring. The 3-on-3 game is built up with a four-person roster, and played on a half court with a 12-second shot clock. Games go until a team hits 21 points, by ones and twos, or the 10-minute clock expires.
“People are starting to understand a little bit about 3-on-3, what it is, and as they do, they’re like, ‘Oh, this is kind of a cool sport,’” Fredette said. “We’ve been trying to raise awareness, build a program and become the best in the world at it. We’re headed that direction, but we’re not there yet.”
Both the men’s and women’s 5-on-5 teams are ranked No. 1 in the world. The women’s team won the FIBA World Cup last year, and the men’s team finished fourth at the World Cup earlier this summer. The men’s team won its fourth straight gold in Tokyo after it beat France in the championship, and the women’s team beat Japan in the championship to win its seventh straight gold medal.