Dubai, UAE – The countdown is on for local basketball stars as they prepare to face the opportunity to represent the UAE on the world stage. After weeks of qualifying in the Emirates, the Red Bull Half Court UAE Finals will bring together the best streetballers to compete at Satwa Park in Dubai on Saturday 3 June with the World Finals at stake.

In the UAE, the event has grown in partnership with property developer Arada, bringing an exciting mix of street football, music, fashion and street art to local communities under the auspices of the Dubai Sports Council. For the upcoming finals, the Satwa Park court is set to be revitalized, leaving a legacy for the area in partnership with Dubai Municipality.

Egyptian basketball star Nadine Selawi is the global ambassador of Red Bull Half Court. The Al Ahly and Egypt national basketball star holds the record at the US collegiate level.

After last year’s final in his native Cairo, he believes the Emirates players may have what it takes in a format that showcases a different skill set compared to the traditional format; “The UAE team looked great last year. I believe this time, based on what I’ve seen of the competition there, they can have a fair chance of winning it all.”

“3×3 is an intimate game, an individual team game, and you can express yourself and your skills more than in a regular basketball game,” Selawi added.

Indeed, the format of the event is something that many basketball fans love about the competition and something that could also contribute to the eventual winner of the UAE Finals.

Ehab Amin is the male ambassador of Red Bull Half Court, the hero of Al Ahly and the Egyptian national team also had a great college career in the United States. Speaking about the competition, he said: “Half court is such a dynamic format, it’s faster with a short shot clock, each player has to do more and there’s less space, so you need a team of people who can all pass, dribble, dunk : there can be no weakness.”

He added: “All the teams are close, with the knockouts often being decided by 2 or 3 points, it could be anyone’s game.”

Ehab’s thoughts are echoed by another of the Middle East’s great basketball stars, Wael Arakji. The Lebanese international recently led his country to the finals of the 2022 FIBA ​​Asia Cup, winning the tournament’s MVP award.

Arakji says the event is taking place during a golden period for basketball in the region. Arab countries were very present and reached high positions. I have played for teams in Tunisia, Qatar, Kuwait and I see the quality of competition in the UAE, the support for the game and the enthusiasm among the fans is extremely strong.”

Speaking about the event held in Dubai, Arakji expects more from the UAE’s talents. “I attended last year’s exhibition match at the Red Bull Half Court UAE finals in Dubai and it was great to be there and watch the games unfold. . This year will be even more skilled because they know the format and I’m really looking forward to witnessing that.”

The Red Bull Half Court UAE finals will take place on June 3 in Satwa, Dubai, with the winners progressing to the world finals in Serbia in September.

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