The 3×3 basketball competition began on June 21, already at the start of the European Games. The games, which lasted four days on the court next to Cracovia Arena, definitely provided a strong and emotional opening to the event. This is because the basketball tournament fulfilled the three most important conditions to guarantee a great show.
First, the intense and dynamic struggles fostered fierce competition. In total, as many as 128 athletes from 19 countries took part in the competition, and each of these teams had the opportunity to fight for collective success. In the women’s category, the Lithuanian women won, followed by the French and Spanish women on the podium. In the men’s competition, on the other hand, Polish fans had reason to rejoice, as the Poles won the bronze medal after winning against Germany. The Belgians took the silver, while the first place went to the team from Latvia.
Despite the unfulfilled dreams of the finals, the Polish players felt pride and satisfaction with their work, as Przemysław Zamojski mentioned:
– Here there is nothing to be ashamed of: this team is developing brilliantly, it is building up all the time, it is growing in strength and great things are yet to come. We have a bronze medal – for some only bronze, for us as much. And we are very happy that during the ceremony we will have the opportunity to put this medal around our necks. – commented the Polish representative.
Secondly, the games at the European Games have contributed to the development of this spectacular and unique sport. Let’s remember that 3×3 basketball was born on the streets and school playgrounds, and only since 2021 has it been functioning at the Olympic Games. So, on the one hand, the spectacular tournament made it possible to bring this variation of basketball closer to more people, on the other hand, it showed a new outlook on the sport, moving away from the trend of locking it in the drawer of sports of an urban nature.
– Throughout the tournament it was great to play, so I hope there will be more events like this, especially in Poland – so that people see that this is not already so-called street ball, that this is a different level altogether. Each team is getting better, better players are joining the game, hence 3×3 basketball is moving in the right direction. – noted basketball player Adrian Bogucki.
Thirdly, the atmosphere on the court and the cheering of the fans made the whole competition full of unforgettable experiences. Basketball fans had many opportunities to support their players during the most important clashes, as could be seen, for example, in the match between Poland and Serbia during the elimination phase. Such behavior was appreciated by the athletes themselves, who emphasized how much the fans’ perseverance and determination meant to them.
– Cool that so many people came here. Thank you very much for always cheering us on and coming to our matches – even in this weather. – continued Bogucki.
So it remains for us to continue to support Polish representatives in this discipline and hopefully look forward to their future successes, which, looking at the current form of our teams, we can most certainly count on.