2016 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships kicked off in Astana (VIDEO)

ASTANA. KAZINFORM 2016 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships started June 1 in the capital city of Kazakhstan, Kazinform learnt from astana.gov.kz.

The event is taking place in front of the Astana Opera Theatre and will last till June 5.

According to the FIBA Managing Director Alex Sanchez, it was not accidental that Astana had been chosen as a host country of the Championships. It is planned to develop pick-up basketball all around the world and in Kazakhstan as well.

"In 2015, our country was honored to host this tournament. Today we will see 30 countries and more than 200 players from every corner of the world. We build special grounds for our children, who begin showing interest in the game at the age of 8-10. It is important to make this street culture organized and aimed at propagation of healthy lifestyle," President of Kazakhstan's Pick-Up Basketball League Askhat Agybayev said.

Gold medalist Tai Wynyard, who was named the best player of 2015, came to Astana for the Championships. "The city develops quickly. All the teams are strong, however, I would like to point out Austrian and Spanish teams. I am happy to be here, and I believe it will be a good joint work," he says.

Kazakhstan and Guatemala will make their first-ever appearance in the women's tournament, Belgium will debut in the men's. The UAE is participating in the event for the first time.

The FIBA 3x3 Under-18 World Championship is an under-18 basketball tournament run by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

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