The NBL’s ramped up 2021 Schick 3X3 season is set to welcome three new teams to complement a raft of exciting initiatives including equal pay for all players, two live player drafts, a trade weekend, and $40,000 in prize money.
The season will include player drafts in August, ahead of the Schick Cup in Invercargill (October) and the Schick Christmas Classic in Auckland (December).
The women’s competition will welcome the Nelson Sparks and a team from Southland, while the Wellington Saints will join the men’s competition.
“We’re delighted to see the return of the Nelson Sparks to the NBL, they have a proud history at national level and have recently taken on a real focus to getting back to being a strong women’s programme, which is great news for the talented young players in that region,” said League General Manager Justin Nelson.
“Equally, we are pleased to see Southland building a women’s basketball programme with 3X3 being a perfect platform, while it was an easy decision for the League to welcome the Saints to the 3X3 season. We welcome the Sparks, Saints and Southland with open arms. We are really happy with the twenty teams involved in these national competitions and the fun and excitement they will bring to their fans.”
Building off the back of last year’s ground-breaking player draft where more than 500 players registered for the Sal’s NBL Showdown draft, the League will now move the exciting concept across to its 3X3 competitions with live coverage on Sky Sport.
Each team will have the chance to sign a captain, who will then go to the draft and be responsible for making three selections to finalise a four-player roster.
As recently announced by the League, all players in both competitions will be paid the same fee for playing, a first for basketball.
“The addition of player drafts adds an exciting element to the format this year, the teams will really need to think about how they put their roster together. With twenty teams across New Zealand playing for the national title at the Schick Cup and for prize money at the Schick Christmas Classic, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The League has labelled the 3X3 season its “party product” with Nelson vowing the competition will go up a level after a successful start last year.
October 14-16 at ILT Stadium Southland, Invercargill
SCHICK CHRISTMAS CLASSIC
December 9-11 at SkyCity Theatre, Auckland
NBL WOMEN’S 3X3 TEAMS
Bay of Plenty Blaze
Otago Gold Rush
NBL MEN’S 3X3 TEAMS
Hawke’s Bay Hawks