Three-on-three basketball will make its Olympic debut as one of the newest sporting events added to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.
In anticipation for the event, Force 10 Sports Management, which owns the Seattle Storm, announced Thursday morning the signing of its lineup for the first independently-owned professional women’s 3×3 basketball team in the United States.
The women signed to the Force 10 3×3 roster are Cierra Burdick, Alexis Peterson, Linnae Harper and Megan Huff. The team will begin training camp this week in Seattle and compete at the Red Bull 3x Circuit later this summer — its exact debut date is yet to be announced.
Participating players will collect points through playing in FIBA events, such as the Red Bull 3x circuit later this summer, which will be used to determine individual world rankings and eligibility for future international events.
“This is an exciting pilot program that aims to support the national efforts to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, while also creating new opportunities for women in the game,” said Alisha Valavanis, CEO of Force 10 Sports Management, in a news release. “This is a platform for our organization and these athletes to help shape the direction of a new sport, and engage new women’s basketball fans worldwide.”
Burdick, a former Tennessee forward, was the No. 14 overall pick in the 2015 WNBA draft. She made her league debut with the Atlanta Dream and had short playing stints with the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars. She represented the U.S. at the 2013 FIBA 3×3 World Championships, winning the gold medal with then-teammate, Storm guard, Jewell Loyd.
In 2017, Peterson was drafted by Seattle and played in 17 games before being waived after one season. The 2016-2017 ACC Player of the Year from Syracuse has since participated in training camps with the Indiana Fever and Phoenix Mercury.
After going undrafted, Harper was signed by the Chicago Sky in 2018 and played in 24 games. She has represented the U.S. National Team twice in international 3×3 competition, including as a U18 player in 2011 and later in 2016, when she helped the team win bronze at the FIBA 3×3 World Championships.
Huff, who played at Todd Beamer High in Federal Way, was selected 26th overall by the New York Liberty in the 2019 WNBA draft but was waived from the team before its season opener. A two-time All-Pac-12 selection, she averaged 17.2 points and 8.8 rebounds at Utah.
The 3×3 games are played on a half court where teams compete against each other to reach 21 points or before time runs out. Games are played with a 12-second shot clock and last 10 minutes. Shots outside the arc count for two points, instead of the normal three, while shots inside are worth just one point.
“In keeping with the tradition of Force 10 Sports Management, we are exploring channels to grow women’s basketball and provide new and unique ways to extend our business,” said Lisa Brummel, co-owner of Force 10 Enterprises, in Thursday’s release.