Harding helps Australia to bronze medal in Mongolia

Darcy Harding (second from right) teamed up with Andrew Steel, Lucas Barker, and Owen Odigie to bring home a bronze medal. Photo: FIBA

Darcy Harding (second from right) teamed up with Andrew Steel, Lucas Barker, and Owen Odigie to bring home a bronze medal. Photo: FIBA

The Eurobodalla was represented on the international stage last month in Ulaanbaatar.

Darcy Harding, from Batemans Bay, was part of the four-man Australian team that won bronze at the FIBA 3x3 Asian Cup in Mongolia.

3x3 basketball is a fairly new format that is only played on half a basketball court.

Each side has three players on the court at any given time, with one substitute available.

The game is played as ‘first to 21’, or the highest score after 10 minutes.

Harding said the result was good considering how new the format is.

“It wasn’t what were after, but with it being pretty new in Australia – and with none of us having played 3x3 basketball before – we did pretty well,” he said.

The Australian team played the host nation in a Semi Final that went to overtime, but ended up losing 19-17.

Mongolia defeated New Zealand 19-14 in the gold-medal match, while the Aussies defeated Kazakhstan 21-18 to win bronze.

Mongolia is a country sandwiched between China and Russia. There are no direct flights to the country, so the Aussies had to connect through China.

Because it’s just the half-court, the crowd is always in so close, so even a small crowd feels massive.

Darcy Harding

Despite this, Harding said the amount of travel had little effect on the group’s performance.

“Everyone in the group was pretty experienced with travel,” Harding said. “You learn what to do and what not to do, what to eat, when to drink.”

Although most people wouldn’t peg Mongolia as a basketball nation, Harding said the locals created a fiery atmosphere.

Basketball has always been his passion and his dream, so we support him 100%.

Carolyn Harding

“Because it’s just the half-court, the crowd is always in so close, so even a small crowd feels massive,” he said.

“Our game against Mongolia was huge. I don’t think I’ve been in a stadium where it’s been so one-sided.”

Darcy’s mother, Carolyn, had the opportunity to travel to Mongolia with her son, and said the experience was amazing.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” she said. “Seeing your own child represent their country is massive.”

“Basketball has always been his passion and his dream, so we support him 100%.”