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For the youngsters of 3X3 Unites, the World Tour Amsterdam is the place to showcase their talents

At the World Tour Amsterdam Masters, 3x3 basketball takes centre stage. But those who think the Cultuurdorp Westergas and Gashouder is all about top-class sport are wrong. Around the court, youngsters from 3X3 Unites get the chance to show off their talents in all sorts of ways.

At the entrance to the Cultuurdorp Westergas and Gashouder, a stall immediately catches the eye. Grey hoodies, black jackets, and white T-shirts are displayed there. All the clothes have the same image on them: 'Win Together', with the logos of 3x3 World Tour and 3x3 Unites underneath.

'Completely designed and made by themselves,' say Kenza el Alaoui and Ruben Jonker proudly. Together, they stand at the stall and explain to the public interested in the clothes. 'We are super happy that, thanks to 3X3 Unites, we got a stage and had the opportunity to make our own clothes.'

With the 3X3 Unites Foundation, tournament director Jesper Jobse and his business partner Mark Schuurman have been using 3x3 basketball for years as a means for young people to pursue their dreams and take control of their lives. Over the past seven years, they reached 10 thousand young people worldwide with numerous activities and events.

Kenza and Ruben also participated in 3X3 Unites' eight-week 3X3 Leader Course a few years ago. Using 3x3 basketball as a binder, they learned to develop Life Skills, skills to build a community in their neighbourhood and create their own event. Kenza gives an example: '3x3 basketball you play without a coach. You have to manage it yourself. You need those skills in everyday life as well.'

After the Leader Course, Kenza and Ruben wanted to do more with fashion with the help of 3X3 Unites. This gave rise to the idea of designing their own clothes for the World Tour Amsterdam Masters in collaboration with FIBA. 'We had a vision of how we thought the merchandise should be tackled, so we took the reins ourselves,' says 20-year-old Kenza.

At the Cultuurdorp Westergas and Gashouder, Ruben shows off the final result. 'We did a lot of brainstorming and consulted with FIBA, as they also had to give their approval,' says Ruben (23). He is convinced they would never have managed this without the help of 3X3 Unites. '3X3 Unites has good connections that we took advantage of and this event is the perfect springboard for us. Who can say they can exhibit their clothes at such a big event?'

Ruben and Kenza are not the only youngsters who get to showcase their talents at the World Tour Amsterdam Masters. At the Cultuurdorp Westergas and Gashouder, it is immediately clear that the event is not just about basketball. Youngsters from 3X3 Unites are walking everywhere. One is a videographer, the other a photographer. There is also dance and music.

A little further down the Cultuurdorp Westergas and Gashouder, Shuwendly Sophia is walking. He set up the Instagram page 3x3Next a few years ago. 'We wanted to create a platform where we could show what else basketball culture brings,' he says. 'Think fat trainers, music or whatever. The whole lifestyle around basketball.'

Shuwendly also took part in the Leader Course a few years ago, where he says he learned how to take ownership and pick up things himself. 'The great thing was that 3X3 Unites said, 'If you have ideas, go and implement them. Should you need help, we are here for you.'

To draw attention to the 3x3Next Instagram page, he set up a podcast a few years ago. All kinds of people took a seat behind the microphone: from athletes to DJs and from people with a clothing brand to business owners. They talk about what they all did and give tips and tricks.'

During the World Tour Amsterdam Masters, he takes followers of the Instagram page through the stories. Furthermore, they capture the coolest shoes and the dopest outfits of the visitors, all to give a face to the 3x3 basketball culture. In this way, much more than just basketball comes together during the World Tour Amsterdam Masters.