China is likely to host an under-23 3x3 Basketball World Cup before the end of the year ©Getty Images

The International Basketball Association’s (FIBA) director for China Qiang Zhou has revealed that the country is likely to host an under-23 3x3 World Cup before the end of the year as the sport's governing body aims to promote the discipline in the country.

Speaking here at the World Sport Events and Tourism Summit, Zhou told insidethegames he is travelling to FIBA headquarters in Mies next week to discuss the topic in detail.

It was confirmed yesterday that 3x3 basketball will make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.

"We did intend to promote 3x3 basketball in China on a larger scale even before this decision so it is my understanding that we are going to do a youth under-23 World Cup somewhere in China and it’s going to be a new event in the 3x3 family," Zhou said.

"I’ve kept in close contact with the head of 3x3 so I think after this summit, after I have a concrete idea from my boss at the headquarters, I will come back to China and go around and start discussing this possibility with the various cities and sports bureaus."

According to Zhou, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) has already drawn up the idea of combining the event with a World Basketball Summit.

He said FIBA has a close working relationship with the CBA, which elected retired National Basketball Association (NBA) superstar Yao Ming as its President in February.

"I think combining it with the basketball summit makes this thing more substantial," Zhou added.

3x3 basketball is a new Olympic discipline for the Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
3x3 basketball is a new Olympic discipline for the Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

China is due to host the 2019 FIBA World Cup with a record 32 teams participating in Beijing, Foshan, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Nanjing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The following year, a total of 64 athletes - 32 men and 32 women - are due to make up the 3x3 Olympic basketball programme at Tokyo 2020. 

FIBA claimed that adding a new urban basketball discipline to the Olympic programme marks a quantum leap for the development of the game and presents an array of opportunities for new countries and players alike.

Zhoue agreed, saying: "I think it is very important

"It’s a young sport, it’s cutting edge, it’s cool, it’s kind of a street sport.

"It can bring a lot to China and to anywhere else in the world.

"This is very exciting."

In 2007, FIBA decided to propose the addition of 3x3 to the 2010 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

This ended up being the first official 3x3 event and the discipline also went onto feature at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Chinese city Nanjing.

Since then, 3x3 has grown to the point of having dedicated athletes playing professionally on the FIBA 3x3 World Tour and competing in multi-sport Games.

"The intensity and skill level of the 3x3 game is such that there are no traditional 3x3 powerhouses and new countries have emerged since the first YOG experience in 2010," FIBA President Horacio Muratore said.

"This was our main objective back in 2007.

"The decision provides FIBA with a renewed, strong incentive to continue in this direction and grow the game of basketball by developing new young skilled basketball talents in both genders across the globe from small islands to large countries in every continent."

FIBA secretary general and IOC member Patrick Baumann added: "It is the recognition of 10 years of hard work to codify the rules of 3x3 and to innovate with a unique 3x3 digital platform and player ranking system that bring together athletes with private and institutional organizers in a worldwide network of FIBA organised or sanctioned 3x3 events."