Dennis “The Menace” Donkor makes his debut at 3X3 Lions at World Cup: “We dream of a medal”

In addition to Thibaut Vervoort and Dennis Donkor, national coach Steve Ibens also selected Caspar Augustijnen and Brian De Valck. So three players from TOPdesk Antwerp and Vervoort (ex-Team Antwerp) who now plays for the Chinese Futian. The 3X3 Lions are currently in sixth place in the world ranking. At the Olympic Games in Tokyo, they surprisingly came fourth. In the meantime, they are a world top player in the fastest growing sport in the world, they finished fourth at last year’s World Cup in Antwerp and are going for a medal at this World Cup in Vienna. After 15 years in the first division, eleven of which with Antwerp Giants, Dennis Donkor made a career switch and opted for 3X3 basketball and Team Antwerp.

Why the decision?

“Except for the title, almost everything is ticked off in classic basketball. Twice won the Belgian Cup with the Giants, crossed all of Europe and especially that great campaign in 2019 in the Champions League with the Final 4 in the Sportpaleis and bronze for dessert.”

There’s a bit of streetballer in Dennis Donkor?

“I have always been an offensive player. I followed Team Antwerp and the 3X3 Lions in recent years and it charmed me.”

And then came the question?

“Indeed, last year I was asked to make the switch to Team Antwerp. I weighed everything up and then decided that I would take on a new challenge.”

Why that switch?

“3X3 is extremely popular and after Europe I can discover the world with TOPdesk Antwerp in the World Tour. Canada, Philippines, Japan, Dubai, China etc… We play everywhere. I started late last year and I must say it is very exciting.”

It’s intensive too!

“Enormous and so don’t underestimate it. It’s short, intensely physical and you’re constantly traveling in different time zones. Taking good care of yourself remains the message.”

Isn’t it a step back financially?

“I have a professional contract with Sport Vlaanderen. A nice basis and if you are successful in the World Tour with TOPdesk Antwerp, there is a nice prize pool. I will not deny that it is financially interesting at this level.”

The biggest driver is a ticket to the Olympics?

“That plays in the back of your mind. I saw those guys busy in Tokyo. Being part of the Olympic Games in Paris remains the ultimate challenge.”

And this World Cup: on the way to a medal?

“That is our dream. Lithuania is our toughest opponent in the group stage. Poland is also tough but getting to the next round is the first goal. Preferably as a group winner, then we are directly in the quarter finals. If we have to complete the “Play-In” and qualify, a quarter-final against world power Serbia threatens. We must avoid that.”

Competitieformule 3X3WKThe five group winners of the four groups of five teams qualified for the quarterfinals. Numbers four and five are off. Those who finish second and third must complete a “Play-In” to qualify for a place in the last eight. The 3X3 Lions are in group C. If it does not win the group and it finishes second, it will play against the number 3 of group B in the Play-In. If it is third, the number 2 of group B will be the opponent in the Play-In In.Sold out 3X3 event at Olympic Games in Paris The demand for tickets for the 2024 Olympics is huge. The sport where the demand for tickets is currently the highest is 3X3 basketball. Since the Olympic Games in Tokyo, this wildly popular sport has been added to the Olympic program. The 3×3 event of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will take place on the iconic Place de la Concorde, in the heart of the French capital. Place de la Concorde is the largest public square in Paris, located near the Grand Palais, Champs Elysées and the Louvre. Paris 2024 hopes to welcome up to 37,000 people daily for both competition and entertainment, all in the Concorde urban park. At this World Cup there is no direct ticket for the world champion to the Olympic Games. Next year’s highest ranked countries from each continent have been placed. France has been placed directly as host country. The winner of the European Championship (5 to 7 September Israel/Jerusalem) also receives a ticket and there are also qualifying tournaments. Eight countries are allowed to participate in the 3X3 competition at the Olympic Games in Paris. The 3X3 Lions are currently sixth in the world ranking (fourth in Europe).

Selection 3X3 Lions: Thibaut Vervoort, Dennis Donkor, Bryan De Valck, Caspar Augustijnen

Coach: Steve Going

TV: Sporza brings all matches of the 3X3 Lions

Chicken program C:

Tuesday May 30: 12.00 Belgium-Israel; 14.00 Belgium-Lithuania

Thursday June 1: 14.00 Belgium-Poland; 15.25 Puerto Rico-Belgium

Saturday June 3: Last 16 matches and quarter finals

Sunday June 4: semi finals; bronze medal match; final

Pool A: Serbia (1), France (8), Germany (10), Brazil (18), Madagascar (20)

Pool B: America (2), Latvia (7), Austria (9), Slovenia (15), Australia (17)

Pool C: Lithuania (3), Belgium (5), Poland (11), Israel (14), Puerto Rico (16)

Pool D: Netherlands (4), Mongolia (6), Switzerland (12), Hungary (19)

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