Canyon Barry returns to Colorado to compete for the 3X3 National title

Cheyenne Mountain alum hopes to earn a spot on 3x3 US National team
Posted at 10:40 PM, May 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-09 00:40:31-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — For the tenth year in a row, USA Basketball hosted its 3X Nationals this past weekend. The event brought teams from all over the country to Colorado Springs to compete for a title. It also served as a homecoming for former Southern Colorado basketball star, Canyon Barry.

"It's a real honor anytime you get to play with USA across your chest," Barry said. "Obviously I grew up around the training center and have lots of friends and family here, so it's nice to be able to see them, have them watch me play and compete for our country."

After a successful Division I college career and a stint in the NBA G-League, Barry began playing 3x3 four years ago and fell in love with it.

"It's just super-fast paced, volatile, you have to show up every game because you can lose to anyone out here," Barry explained. "I think it suits my skill set well, being a well-rounded player."

USA Basketball's 3X3 National Teams Director, Jay Demings believes the unique format of 3x3 has helped grow its popularity.

"In 3x3 there's no coaching, the players coach themselves," Demings said. "I think what that does for the players is they value it because it brings excitement back to the game, they feel like they own it a little bit more."

Barry's team, "Team Miami" placed second in the 3X Nationals tournament.

"We've only played one other tournament together, so we're still trying to work out some chemistry issues," Barry explained. "We'll take this as a learning experience, get ready for the rest of the season and hopefully get the US qualified for the Olympics."

3x3 made its debut in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

"Our women qualified and won the gold medal but our men did not qualify because they lost in the qualifying tournament," Demings explained, "So our goal now is to get both teams in to Paris in 2024."

This past weekend players were evaluated by the USA Basketball Committee for National Team consideration. Demings said Canyon has a good chance to make the team.

"I mean that's the ultimate goal to be an Olympian and represent your country on the highest stage, the highest level of sports," Barry said. "It's something we've dreamed of so that's going to be the goal throughout this whole year."

The US National Team will be announced in the next few weeks. On November 1st, USA Basketball will find out if they get an automatic bid to the 2024 Paris Olympics.