3x3 basketball is set to make its Commonwealth Games debut at Birmingham 2022 ©Getty Images

3x3 basketball, the shortened version of the standard game with five-a-side, is appearing at the Commonwealth Games for the first time in Birmingham, together with wheelchair basketball 3x3, after being added to the list of Olympic sports in the run-up to Tokyo 2020.

England’s Myles Hesson is based in Japan and has sacrificed his off-season to be in Birmingham with England, who will be among the favourites to win gold in the men's tournament.

The 32-year-old former Britain international, who grew up in the host city said: "This is not something I thought would ever happen, so it's actually more than a dream come true.

"Playing in a big, multi-sport competition like this, in front of my home city crowd is actually hard to put into words how I feel."

The 3x3 event began as an urban street game in the United States but is now played professionally around the world with many players, such as Hesson, moving between the long and short formats.

"There are different tactics and nuances," Hesson added.

"Some people fare well with this while some people don't.

"For a guy like me, it's perfect because I'm not too small and not too big.

"I can do a bit of everything.

"It's for players in between [sizes], I'd say."

England's Myles Hesson, right, has high ambitions in Birmingham as 3x3 basketball makes its debut ©Getty Images
England's Myles Hesson, right, has high ambitions in Birmingham as 3x3 basketball makes its debut ©Getty Images

Australia - who recently beat New Zealand in the final of the 3x3 Asia Cup - will provide the biggest challenge to England in the men's competition.

Canada will also be in the running for gold and the same four nations are expected to contest the title in the women's tournament.

Wheelchair basketball is also set to appear at the Games for the first time.

For Stella Tiyoy of Kenya the opportunity comes after she learned to play the sport in the United States while participating in a high school exchange programme.

"My host parents were both wheelchair users and they introduced me to the sport," Tiyoy said.

"It was an eye-opener.

"Before that, I didn't know there were any adapted sports for people with disabilities.

"It was really exciting."

Aside from the reduced number of players, newcomers to 3x3 basketball will notice some other differences to the 5v5 version.

The game is played on a half-court, with one basket, and consists of 10 minutes of fast and furious action.

As befits its street origins, it is also noisy and accessible - with music throughout and a warm-up court open to fans and players.