Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia are taking part for the first time in the Marshall Islands' annual national basketball tournament, which began in the capital Majuro over the weekend.
It is the 13th year of the competition, which this year involves 13 Marshall Islands teams, three from Nauru and one from Pohnpei.
Our correspondent, Giff Johnson, says the competition is dominated by players from Majuro but they are organised into teams representing their home islands.
He says the participation of two other countries this year is an indication of basketball's popularity in Micronesia.
"We have men's and women's teams competing and in the Marshall islands fanaticism about basketball borders on a religious fervour."
Giff Johnson says the tournament is also hugely exciting for people on the Marshalls' outer islands because it is broadcast live on the radio.