Natalie van den Adel: “3×3 is more physical so you have to be able to stand your ground”.
Last Sunday, Natalie van den Adel was included in the team of FIBA 3×3 Europe Cup tournament held in Debrecen, Hungary, after reaching the semifinals with team Netherlands Women. I catch her for a short interview about the 3×3 basketball philosophy and how this sport, taken from the streets to the Olympic Games, is becoming more and more attractive for the millions of fans all over the world.
Gratian Cormos: – Team Netherlands is getting better and better each tournament of FIBA 3×3. How can you explain this process of growth?
Natalie van den Adel: – Practice! Our federation recognises that 3×3 is becoming a big part of basketball and more importantly feels like we really have chances of medalling every tournament. They have given us the facilities to practice in a full-time program and this 2019 summer we have been practicing together more than ever. I feel like this helped us a lot. Throughout the summer we also get to compete in tournaments in which we get to play against top teams and players from around the world, I don’t think there’s a better learning school than that.
– What makes team Netherlands such a top team?
– I think we’re just tough. We always believe in our abilities and more importantly: we never give up. It doesn’t matter if we’re down 5 or up 7. We don’t go away. We stay in it until the last second.
– Which qualities are more important in the 3×3 competition compared with 5×5 basketball?
– 3×3 is more physical so you have to be able to stand your ground. It also definitely asks more of the individual player than in 5×5. Skills work, knowing how to play a 1-1 form outside AND inside, being able to shoot, being able to play a 1-1 defense. On the other hand, in both 5×5 and 3×3, the team that plays best together wins.
– How do you see the future of 3×3 basketball all around the world?
– I’ve been around for only 2 years now and I can already tell it’s just getting bigger and bigger. With it becoming an Olympic sport it’s only going to get more competitive.
– What impressed you the most at Debrecen tournament?
– Probably just the level of play. Tournaments like these are just a gathering of the best 3×3 players and the best teams in Europe and it’s a lot of fun to see everyone compete.
– Thank you! I wish you luck!
Photo credit: http://www.fiba.basketball/3x3europecup/2019