Local basketballers on a mission to bring silverware back from Perth

Bigtime Basketball Academy will send more than 30 players to Perth later this month.
Share this story

The Easter long weekend will look a little different for a big group of local basketballers.

Instead of participating in an Easter egg hunt or enjoying a Good Friday meal with their families, 31 junior basketballers from Bigtime Basketball Academy will be in Western Australia for the 2024 3×3 Hustle Junior National Championships.

To be held at Perth’s famous Scarborough Beach, the 3×3 Hustle Junior National Championships will see teams from across the country battle it out in one of the most exciting and fast-paced formats of the game.

Local business Bigtime Basketball Academy will have eight teams competing at the tournament – five female teams and three male teams.

“It’s exciting because all of our teams are made up of local Penrith players,” Bigtime Basketball Academy’s Asma Johansson said.

The teams qualified for the National Championships after a lighting up the court at the 3×3 State Championships, which were held at Penrith Valley Regional Sports Centre last month.

“We had 11 teams qualify for the State Championships, with six qualifying for Nationals,” Johansson said.

“We then had two development teams that were also invited to attend as wildcard teams. So overall we have eight teams flying over to Perth in the coming weeks – that’s 31 athletes and 79 in total travelling.”

Bigtime Basketball Academy was established in 2016 by experienced basketball coach Melvin Gapido. The aim of the academy is for athletes to develop their fundamental skills in the game of basketball.

“Melvin’s dream was to help impact, influence and support young athletes to grow in the game of basketball,” Johansson said.

“Bigtime Basketball grew from being an outdoor academy to hiring our own courts at WSU in Kingswood. We now have around 60 students that attend once or twice a week.”

3×3 basketball is a variation of basketball played three-a-side, with one backboard and a half-court set up. According to a study commissioned by the International Olympic Committee, 3×3 is the largest urban team sport in the world.

In 2021, it made its Summer Olympics debut in Tokyo, and will return to the Olympics in Paris later this year.

Johansson believes Bigtime Basketball are a chance to return with some silverware.

“Our strongest age group is our U14 girls,” she said.

“All three of our U14 girls’ teams qualified for Nationals, placing first, second and third in the state.”

Share this story