We’re unabashed Robbie Hummel stans around these parts. Event hough his NBA career was short, Rob is having a breakout year on the new 3x3 circuit. As a result, he was named the USA Basketball male Athlete of the Year:
@FIBA3x3 World Cup champion. Then MVP. And now the first male @usab3x3 athlete to earn this honor @RobbieHummel is the 2019 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) December 12, 2019
» https://t.co/lKBhchkCpM pic.twitter.com/mpGDF0zGGU
It has been a great year for Rob. His broadcasting career is really taking off, he won the FIBA 3x3 World Cup, and now this. It is all setting up for a big 2020 when 3x3 basketball will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo.
There is not a guarantee that team USA will be at the Olympics. The inaugural 3x3 even is only an 8-team event and four of the spots are already spoken for. Japan automatically qualifies as hosts. China, Russia, and Serbia are in based on being in the top 3 of FIBA’s 3x3 rankings list as of November 1, 2019. The U.S. was 5th on those rankings despite being the reigning champs.
This means the United States must go through the FIBA Qualifying Tournament for one of three spots. This tournament will be held in March in India and the top three finishers will go to the Olympics. The eighth and final spot will come from the Universality-driven qualifying tournament. Teams already qualified for the Olympics are excluded. NOCs which have had teams in either the men’s or women’s competitions at the 2012 or 2016 Olympics are also excluded, except for Japan. The host of the UOQT and five teams from the rankings (including Japan, if not already qualified) will compete for one Olympic qualifying place.
So it is still a long road to Tokyo, but hopefully we can crown Rob a World Champion again next summer.