Jump into the jam

by Andy Bryenton

Young basketball players looking to emulate the rise to stardom of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Steven Adams or Phoenix Suns player Aron Baynes will be able to show their skills and meet the competition on court in the forthcoming series of 3×3 jams in Rolleston.

Both of the NBA players listed above hail from New Zealand, meaning there’s no ceiling to the sport for locals with the skills to take it all the way.

The 5×5 game on hardwood might be the destination for many. However, the fast-paced 3×3 street game is the crucible in which many of the greatest of all time have honed their skills, taking to the concrete courts to sharpen up their fundamentals and score those big slam dunks.

As part of the Selwyn District Council’s ongoing mission to support sports and outdoor recreation through their Summer in Selwyn programme, they’re helping facilitate two weekend 3×3 jams at Rolleston’s Faringdon Boulevarde basketball courts, with the first happening on March 8 and the second on March 15. Organisers say it’s a great way to celebrate the game, pick up some skill pointers and have fun with some friendly competition.

“There’s no registration, so come along with a team of three or join a team on the day. Pack a picnic and make the most of the day with other games provided music and prizes. Don’t miss The Hits Hydration Station. All ages welcome!”

There will be two age brackets to the competition, with the young under-13s taking to the court between 1pm to 2.30pm, then the over-13s lacing up their kicks for the 2.30pm to 4pm slot. For those who prefer to watch the action courtside, this means hours of intense and fast-paced 3×3 games to enjoy.

Those who live in Rolleston may already have some ideas about who might take away top honours on the day, as local student basketball players are well represented in the area. As we’ve seen from overseas, the dynamics of the three-player game are very different from those on the hardwood, and it’s the fast movers and quick thinkers who often prevail when the court is opened up and defence pared down, just as in Rugby sevens.