“Three-on-three is pretty new to the international world. This is the first year that it’s going to be in the Olympics. But it is just like the games you see people playing outside at the park,” Samuelson explains. Additionally, the three-on-three games are played with a women's-size basketball (size 6) that weighs as much as a men's ball (size 7).
To qualify for the USA team for the Olympics, players had to compete in a tournament over Memorial Day weekend in Austria. The women’s team made it through, but the men’s team did not qualify.
Samuelson says during the pandemic, she was playing overseas in Spain, so she didn’t get to practice much with her three-on-three teammates. But they did a lot of training camps the year before the pandemic.
“Leading into this tournament though, we got together about a week before, and that was kind of the first time we played in any type of real games together. So it was definitely something that we had to adjust to quick [sic] with chemistry and all that. But by the end of the tournament, we felt like we were doing pretty well together.”