One small step for one of the newest Olympic Games sports, three giant leaps to continue building basketball's professional pathway in Canberra.
The NBL will announce on Thursday Basketball ACT has been added as a new franchise of its three-on-three hustle competition.
The move will strengthen Canberra's ties with the independently-run NBL in what can be viewed as another step towards reviving men's professional basketball in the capital.
Basketball ACT has been working with NBL officials to finalise the deal, which will see the Canberra body take charge of development and elite pathways.
Canberra has the only purpose-built three-on-three facility in Australia, opening multi-million dollar courts at Belconnen in 2017.
It sparked the NBL's decision to re-engage with the capital after the demise of the Canberra Cannons in 2003 and led to the Illawarra Hawks playing the first NBL game in the city in almost a decade earlier this year.
The NBL has already secured one fixture for Canberra for the 2019-20 season, with the Hawks and ACT government in negotiations to finalise arrangements for a second game.
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The league is keen to gauge Canberra's interest in top-level basketball, with potential of more games in the future or the Cannons rising from the ashes.
The first iteration of the Cannons may be in the three-on-three competition, new Basketball ACT chief executive Matt Dunstan keen to grow the three-on-three format.
"Basketball ACT has been flirting with three-on-three for some time. The previous model was a bit restrictive to a place like Canberra," Dunstan said.
"We provided some feedback, as many people did, and the NBL took that on board. The new model is far friendly for an organisation like Basketball ACT.
"A strategic objective of the organisation is to grow three-on-three. We're excited by that direction and a number of doors it has opened up for us."
Basketball ACT has partnered with the ANU and primary schools to run three-on-three programs, with the sport to make its Olympic debut next year.
The three-on-three hustle includes development and elite competitions. "It really is a whole of sport pathway now," Dunstan said.
A Canberra team has entered in the Pro Hustle in the past two years, earning a shot at winning $26,000 in Mongolia.
Basketball ACT now owns the franchise licence, with teams likely to compete for a chance on the national stage.
The winning team would represent Canberra, and although a name is yet to be decided, the Cannons could be the brand used.
"They would compete under our banner. We could call it the Canberra Cannons Mark II. They would represent Basketball ACT and the city.
"We've had teams in the Pro Hustle and we hadn't thought about it as an avenue to get back into the NBL. We see this as completely different to our traditional pathway.
Basketball ACT participation numbers have jumped in recent years, with the organisation outgrowing existing facilities at Belconnen and Tuggeranong. "It's scary, but exciting," Dunstan said.