In December the Games’ organising committee decided in line with the International Olympic Committee’s decision to include 3x3 as part of the Olympic Basketball programme, starting 2020.
Cook Islands Basketball Federation president Stephen Lyon said they were looking forward to the opportunity of fielding a team in the abbreviated code.
“The Cook Islands women’s 3x3 team was ranked in the top 20 internationally in 2016 when they attended the World Cup in China.
“The Cook Islands Basketball Federation will be working closely with CISNOC to develop the 3x3 format of the sport, as it is also now included in the Tokyo Olympics 2020.”
In a statement, Pacific Games Council executive director Andrew Minogue said they had received strong support for 3x3 from across the region when a late call for expressions of interest to include the sport had been made.
“The Pacific Games Council is delighted to announce the inclusion of 3x3 Basketball for the upcoming Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu. Having recently been added to the Olympic Games programme, there is no doubt that this exciting new format will be a big hit in the Pacific and at the Games in December,” Minogue said.
FIBA executive director in Oceania and Singapore, David Crocker expressed the international basketball body’s support of inclusion of 3x3 in the Mini Games.
“We are really pleased with 3x3 joining the program in Vanuatu. FIBA believes that 3x3 is the perfect event for multi-sport events as Games organisers modernise their programme,” he said in a statement.
“Smaller athlete numbers with fewer officials required can deliver a really energetic event that the public really enjoy.
“Having this opportunity to showcase a 3x3 event at the Mini Games in Vanuatu will hopefully inspire more of the regional sports leaders to support this basketball discipline grow in their own nations.”
Ten teams from across the Pacific are expected to compete in the 3x3 format at the Mini Games which will be held from December 4 to 15 in Port Vila.