Alex  Sanchez

As the dust settles on an action packed six days of 3x3 basketball, we are able to look back proudly on what was to date the greatest FIBA 3x3 World Cup in our sport's history.

For a young sport, we always need to push boundaries and find new ways to demand the attention that our players deserve. And in Vienna working together, we did that.

FIBA 3x3's urban heritage is very well established. It gives us an inherent association with popular culture. But as an Olympic sport, we are still the new kid on the block.  

Our history may not be as long as others. But the action in Vienna served to demonstrate just how far the sport has come in such a short time.

In just over a decade, 3x3 basketball has gone from the streets to the Olympic and world stage.

Vienna showed why for so many 3x3 is now considered the world’s number one urban team sport.

Serbia and the USA made the biggest statements on the court winning the men’s and women’s world titles respectively. 

But all 20 men’s and women’s teams played their part in a spectacular tournament.

We saw 3x3 basketball of the highest standard, culminating in epic finals and moments of magic which had us all on the edge of our seats.

The men's final between Serbia and the USA served up just under 7 minutes of the most thrilling 3x3 basketball we have ever witnessed. 

And the women's final had the potential to mark a new dawn for team USA as they overcame last year's champions France.

However, it was not just the winners who captured the imagination. 

Whether it was Japan's 20-year-old Yua Emura dropping 18 points in one game against Poland, young duo Denzel Agyeman and Sidi Beikame giving a glimpse of a bright German future, or Brazil’s fairytale run to the semi-final epitomised by a match-winning fadeaway in the dying seconds, the world's best players gave us a tournament that will live long in the memory.

The outpouring of emotions from the players was matched by the awesome crowd at the sold-out Rathausplatz. 

More than 73,000 spectators cheered and roared on from the stands during the course of the tournament generating an unbelievable atmosphere.

As ever, 3x3 was about more than elite competition, it was about shared experiences and the feeling of joy and belonging we get when sport transcends the boundaries of culture and entertainment. 

The non-stop music in the venue and the surrounding fan zone and street food courts, all situated right in the heart of Vienna, generated an authentic urban culture atmosphere, attracting a young and energetic audience to the event.

Off the court, the World Cup broke records, engaging new audiences through fast, exciting and easy to follow action. 

We had 64 million owned views across our social media content with 5.1 million engagements and the numbers are still growing as fans continue to relive the best moments of the tournament. 

We gained more than 220,000 new followers across our TikTok and Instagram accounts with TikTok growing by nearly 50 per cent and the FIBA 3x3 website received more than 400,000 sessions.

From a broadcast perspective it was our biggest World Cup yet. 

A record-breaking 27 broadcasters , including new broadcast partners such as EBU, L’Equipe TV and CCTV, covered the event in over 48 territories with free-to-air live content, as well as digital, to reach as many new fans as possible.

Reaching new fans is what drives us forward. We are confident that you only need to watch the sport to fall in love with it and so it is our responsibility to give as many people the opportunity to see it as possible. 

We have to emulate these players and strive for new heights. New heights we know 3x3 basketball is more than capable of reaching. 

What is most exciting is that we know there is so much more to come. We are proud of where 3x3 basketball has come from and what has been achieved but we are humbled by the sport’s potential which has not yet been reached.

The World Cup was by far the biggest 3x3 event of the year but for the ever-growing fanbase there is so much more to enjoy this year.

We are two stops down in the biggest ever FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2023 with 15 more to come across Asia, Europe and the Americas before it culminates in Jeddah for the final. 

The World Cup showed the strength of the women’s game, and the unprecedented 23-leg FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series began in May and will run through to September at the finale in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. 

Continental action is already underway and the Europe Cup, Africa Cup and AmeriCup are all coming later this year following April’s Asia Cup. 

Quite simply, 2023 will see more 3x3 basketball events than ever before as we adapt to its growing global demand.

And all of this is set against a backdrop of Paris 2024 qualification, as players compete for vital ranking points in the hope of being part of 3x3 basketball’s Olympic return.

The sport will be played at the iconic Place de la Concorde - a fitting location for a sport born on the streets and now marching onto a new Olympic future.