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UC Men’s 3x3 Basketball team qualify for World Cup

10 July 2024

The UC team beat 17 opponent universities on the Gold Coast to win the Oceania Qualifiers and earn a spot at the FISU World University Cup in China in November.

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Photo caption: Left to right: Aidan Tonge (Captain), Adam Bayer, Noah Watson and Zach Hannen at the 2024 3X3 Big Hustle Australian Nationals on the Gold Coast, Australia.

This is the first time a team from Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC) has qualified for a FISU World Cup event, an achievement UC Bachelor of Sport lecturer and team coach Piet Van Hasselt says came with a lot of hard work.

“I’m immensely proud of the manaakitanga shown by the team over this event. 3X3 is an extreme test of the players’ psychological and physical skills and they passed with an A+.”

Even before securing the gold medal at the University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand (UTSNZ) Nationals in March, the team had their eyes set on winning the World Cup in November. The same four players from the New Zealand Nationals team travelled to the Gold Coast: Aidan Tonge (captain), Adam Bayer, Zach Hannen, and Noah Watson.

“We have a very special group of players who are busy balancing study with life on and off the court. We are looking forward to the next four months to prepare for the next step on our journey together,” says Van Hasselt. 

Winning the Gold Coast competition continues the successful run of titles for UC basketball, having won the 2023 and 2024 UTSNZ 3X3 Nationals, 2023 UTSNZ 5X5 Nationals and the Canterbury Basketball Men’s Premier title in 2023. 

“Winning the Gold Coast tournament and qualifying for World’s was the next step in our team’s growth. The opportunity to represent ourselves, our families and the university is a huge honour. I know I speak for all of us when I say we are ready to beat the world’s best!” says Tonge.

The players acknowledge the support from the UC Students’ Association (UCSA), UC Rec & Sport and UC in representing the UC Men’s 3x3 Basketball team. 

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