When Kacie Bosch played her first 3x3 game for Team Canada, it came after just three practices. Though she tried to prepare by watching videos of previous FIBA 3x3 stops on YouTube, she quickly learned that the only way to get prepared for 3x3 is to play it.
Bosch’s first two tournaments representing Canada were at the FIBA 3x3 Women’s AmeriCup and then the FIBA 3x3 Women’s World Cup.
“It was so cool,” Bosch said. “Like, my first two tournaments were the Americup and World Cup. I mean, it's a good starting point.”
The 5-foot-9 Alberta native spent two years playing for the Gonzaga Bulldogs before returning home to finish out her college career at the University of Lethbridge. After a successful university playing career, Bosch never expected to end up playing 3x3 but after joining the team in Miami for that aforementioned AmeriCup weekend, she was hooked.
“I was trying to do a little bit of homework beforehand by watching 3x3 YouTube videos, but it was just so fast,” Bosch said laughing. “Even watching it on TV, you're like, ‘Yeah, it's pretty quick,’ but as soon as you're actually playing in the middle of it [you realize just how fast the sport is]. It's so much hustle. It's a sprint the entire time. There's no time to take your foot off the pedal. After the AmeriCup, I was like, 'Yeah. Actually, this is the best.'"
After that first weekend in Miami, Bosch continued to train with teammate Paige Crozon, who is also located in Alberta. When Crozon mentioned the upcoming World Cup, Bosch was confused because she hadn’t been told that she would be joining the team for the event. After some initial confusion, the two teammates realized an incorrect email had been submitted for Bosch and she hadn’t received any of the correspondence from the team-- including the email telling her that she was literally now a member of Team Canada’s 3x3 team.
“[Crozon] was like, ‘Yeah, you're coming. You're coming to the World Cup,’ And then come to find out that my email was entered wrong,” Bosch said. “I got my email switched and I was like, ‘Oh, okay, well, there we go.’ And ever since then, I've just been attached with them and it's been the best time. The best time ever.”
It has been a year that Bosch has been playing alongside Crozon, Michelle Plouffe and Katherine Plouffe. Watch the foursome dominate the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series and you’d assume it was much longer. The team’s on-court chemistry is a byproduct of the trust and camaraderie that the group shares on and off court.
“Never once has there ever been a moment where, even on the court in the heat of the game, we always talk so respectfully to each other, nobody ever raises their voice or ever has a malicious tone,” she said. “It's always like, there's so much trust. Just to understand that everybody's going to do their role and their job to the best of their ability.”
Communication in basketball is extremely important. It’s even more crucial in 3x3 where there's a shorter shot clock, fewer stoppages and players are coaching themselves.
"Honestly, the chemistry that we have goes beyond the court and I really do think that makes a difference for us when we're playing,” Bosch said. “One of the announcers at the World Cup, he was like, ‘Man, listening to your guys' timeouts is so refreshing. You guys are just discussing the offence. You're so calm, you're laughing, you're having a good time and you can tell that you guys are just having fun.’
“I can't imagine having that chemistry or having that ability to play as a team with anybody else.”
In addition to great team chemistry, Team Canada also has great talent and Bosch is always ready to hype up her teammates and their abilities.
“Michelle is absolutely incredible, like, there's nobody better,” Bosch said. ”She's so smart. And, like, Paige is just an unreal shooter. And Katherine, Katherine and Michelle play so differently, but they complement each other so well. Like Katherine is so good in the paint, but can shoot and then also is just so good at passing too. It's insane. It’s so easy to play with them because they're so smart and so selfless and they just do what's best for the team at all times.”
Though Bosch is quick to credit her teammates for helping to bring along their newest teammate, the reality is that she makes it easy for people to want her on their team.
Tuning in to see Canada compete means tuning in to see Bosch tirelessly crash the offensive glass, sacrifice her body for loose balls and outhustle her opponent to create extra possessions for her team.
Her style of play can be traced back to her earliest memories of basketball where a young Kacie followed older brother Keaton around wanting to copy his every move.
“I just wanted to be exactly like him,” Bosch said. “We had a court out front when we were growing up, and I just always wanted to play with him, and I always wanted to play any game with him and his friends.”
As the youngest and smallest player on the court, and almost always the only girl, Bosch had to be creative at all times.
“Playing with my brother and his friends, [my hustle and effort], those were the two things in my control because I could get blocked by them literally every time I shot the ball, if they wanted to,” she said. “Going in for boards and just diving on the floor for the loose balls was kind of my way to kind of try and give them something to work with.”
Today, the tables have turned and Bosch’s older brother is now her biggest fan. When the team has the opportunity to get in a training session at home in Alberta between tour stops, Bosch’s brother is there.
“He’s like the No. 1 supporter,” she said. “He always keeps up with all of our games and he texts me to tell the group good job after games and everything like that. He loves it.”
It’s hard not to fall in love with 3x3 basketball if you’re a hoops fan in any capacity.
“For the people that know basketball, or even if they've never played basketball before, 3x3 feels like streetball,” Bosch said. “It’s like when you're growing up and you get as many people from your neighborhood as you can or you and your friends go to the YMCA and you're just playing pick-up, that's what it feels like. It's so much fun and it feels so carefree. And I mean, the music's pumping and yeah, the announcers talking and you're just hanging out with three of your best friends.”
Though Bosch still considers herself relatively new to the sport, she couldn’t imagine not joining up with her teammates whenever the opportunity arises. This weekend, that opportunity is in Quebec with the FIBA 3x3 Women's Series Montreal Stop and Bosch is thrilled to be there.
“Honestly, my journey has just been a whole bunch of luck and opportunities,” she said. “I tell the Plouffe sisters and Paige all the time, I'm like, ‘I have no idea how I got here. I have no idea how I'm here. But I appreciate every single moment I have with you guys, so thanks for letting me be on the team.’”