By Gary Anderson

March 25 - This year's HOOP IT UP tour will visit eight cities ending in Washington D.C. for the National Finals ©Getty Images A partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and HOOP IT UP has been signed to marg the 25th anniversary of the premier 3X3 Basketball Tour in the United States.

The new deal runs through until 2017 and will see HOOP IT UP remain FIBA's preferential operator of 3x3 tournaments in North America.

FIBA will also continue to offer HOOP IT UP participants preferred access to its 3x3 World Tour North American stop, while all HOOP IT UP participants will be ranked within the 3x3 individual world ranking for players.

This year's HOOP IT UP tour will visit eight cities beginning with San Antonio on April 26 before moving onto Albuquerque, Dallas, Denver and Phoenix in June, Philadelphia in July followed by stops in Fort Lauderdale and Washington D.C. in August, where the HOOP IT UP National Finals and 3x3 World Festival will take place on August 31 and September 1 coinciding with Labor Day weekend.

The San Antonio event will act as a qualifier for this year's USA Basketball National Championships, as well as for the FIBA 3X3 World Tour event due to take place in Chicago on August 15 and 16.

The events in Denver and Philadelphia will also act as qualifying tournaments for the Chicago World Tour meeting which has $20,000 (£12,000/€14,500) in prize money.

Players at these tournaments will also have the opportunity to secure a spot on the US team for the FIBA 3x3 World Championships due to take place in Moscow in June while places will also be up for grabs on the US team heading to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, which is scheduled to take place from August 16 to 28.

Now in its 25th year HOOP IT UP has renewed its partnership with world governing body FIBA ©NA Sports GroupNow in its 25th year HOOP IT UP has renewed its partnership with world governing body FIBA ©NA Sports Group

"We look forward to continuing to work with HOOP IT UP, with the support of our member Federation, USA Basketball to strengthen FIBA's competition network in the US," said Patrick Baumann, FIBA secretary general.

HOOP IT UP is now in its 25th year after starting up in 1989 and is run by the North American Sports Group.

"HOOP IT UP is excited to continue our partnership with FIBA in our efforts to expand the 3x3 game and make it an Olympic discipline," said North American Sports Group managing partner Rob Thompson.

"With our collaborative efforts, we plan on continuing to raise awareness of this fast-paced and growing discipline."

For more information and to view the full schedule for this year's tour click here.

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