Monash University (MON) (women) and University of Technology Sydney (UTS) (men) have been crowned UniSport Nationals 3x3 basketball champions at the third edition of the 3x3 Big Hustle Uni.
Five FIBA-approved courts were installed on the Bruce campus last year thanks to funding from Sports Infrastructure Grants Program. UC Director of Sport, Carrie Graf said the courts “encourage an active campus and speak to our ethos as a leading sport and health university.”
The winners of the two-day tournament gain qualification to a 3x3Hustle Pro event later this year. Unfortunately, due to the cancellation of the 2021 FISU 3x3 World University Cup, the winning universities will have to repeat their efforts in 2022 to get a shot on the world stage.
For the MON women’s team, this is their third UniSport Nationals 3x3 Basketball title. Last tournament’s silver medal motivated the team to regain their champion status and confirm their reputation as a 3x3 powerhouse university. They proved too strong for UNSW Sydney, winning the final 19-14.
The team, represented by Sian Gillam (Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science), Tori Jackson (Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Primary Education), Melissa Prior (Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)) and Zoe Schonfelder (Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery) went through the tournament undefeated.
Sian Gillam who is due to graduate in 2021, elaborated on the team’s victory in her final UniSport 3x3 tournament. “It’s really nice to come full circle. We have a new squad, and it is all about culture here at Monash. I’m really proud to handover to these guys when I leave and really glad to go out on a win.”
In the men’s competition, UTS’s victory was extra special as they knocked three-time champions Macquarie University off their perch. It was a physical, close-fought final, with UTS eventuating winners 23-18. This is the first UniSport 3x3 basketball gold medal for the UTS men’s team, mirroring their women team’s efforts in 2019.
The team comprised of Alex Higgins-Titsha (Bachelor of Sports and Exercise Management), Maxim Nesterov (Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Science), Christopher Vera (Bachelor of Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Aaron Wabon (Bachelor of Sports and Exercise Science). They entered the final as underdogs with considerably less 3x3 basketball experience as their opposition. However, their grit and determination backed with strong support from the crowd allowed them to rattle the reigning champions and emerge as victors.
3x3 basketball will debut at this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo and will replace five-aside basketball at the next Commonwealth Games. 3x3Hustle, provides the Official National Pathway from grass roots to the world stage. UniSport are excited to be involved in this pathway, which has the potential to bring student-athletes from around the country in front of National selectors.