Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Fredette, Barry, Maddox, Travis make first U.S. Olympic men’s 3×3 basketball team

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Jimmer Fredette, the 2011 NCAA Player of the Year, plus Canyon Barry (son of Hall of Famer Rick Barry), Kareem Maddox and Dylan Travis make up the first U.S. Olympic men’s 3×3 basketball team.

A USA Basketball committee chose the team for the Paris Games, deciding to keep intact the quartet that took silver at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, losing the final to Serbia.

The event debuted at the Tokyo Games, but the American men failed to qualify for that tournament despite winning the world title in 2019.

Fredette was the 10th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft out of BYU and spent parts of six seasons in the league through 2019.

He then played in Greece and China before deciding in 2021 to stay in the U.S. to spend more time with his wife and children.

Then he received a call from basketball analyst and U.S. coach Fran Fraschilla, who asked Fredette if he wanted to play 3×3. Fredette gave it a shot and made his national team debut in November 2022.

“If I had a chance to go to the Olympics, it would be a dream come true,” he said last summer. “It’s one of my favorite events of all time, and I watch every everything. I have so much respect for the athletes and all the time that they put in with people not watching them to give them their five minutes of fame. So that really drew me to it. Plus, I’m able to be home more with my family, and it just fits my lifestyle.”

Come the Paris Games, Fredette will be older than all but one previous U.S. Olympic men’s basketball player — Larry Bird in 1992.

Barry is set to make his Olympic debut 60 years after his dad didn’t make the Olympic team at a tryout.

Barry, 30, played at the College of Charleston and then the University of Florida.

He has never played in an NBA game — unlike his father and half-brothers Jon, Brent and Drew — but he has played professionally in Finland, Czechia, China and Des Moines, appearing in 89 games for the NBA G League’s Iowa Wolves from 2018 to 2022.

He said in 2020 that he would rate becoming an Olympian over playing one NBA game if forced to choose.

Maddox, 34, was on the U.S. 3×3 team that lost in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Olympic qualifying tournament, where the top three teams advanced to the Tokyo Games.

Maddox played for Princeton, then professionally in the Netherlands, England and Poland and also hosted a Colorado NPR affiliate “All Things Considered” show. He has played 3×3 since 2015, the longest stint of anyone on this Olympic team.

Travis, 30, played collegiately at Midland University in Nebraska, Iowa Central Community College and Florida Southern.

He played pro ball in Australia and Germany and spent time as a special education teacher and basketball coach at Omaha’s Westside High School.

In 3×3, teams play outdoors on a half-court with a 10-minute game clock and 12-second shot clock. The first team to 21 points via one-point and two-point field goals wins, or whichever team is leading when time expires.

Coaches are not allowed on the court during 3×3 games, though the U.S. men do have a head coach — Joe Lewandowski.

Jimmer Fredette has seen success in so many different seasons of life, from the “JimmerMania” days of college basketball superstardom at BYU, to his time in the NBA, and international career in Shanghai.

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