Denver, FST-L.I. Claim Men’s And Women’s 2013 USA Basketball 3x3 National Championship Tournament Titles
-- Both Teams Earn Berths In 2014 USA Basketball 3x3 National Championships --
Aug. 4, 2013 • Colorado Springs, Colo.
The 2013 USA Basketball 3x3 National Championship Tournament concluded Sunday morning with Denver (7-1) taking the men’s championship and FST-L.I. (5-1) from Long Island, N.Y. earning the women’s title. With their respective titles, both squads earn an automatic berth to the 2014 USA Basketball 3x3 National Championship, from which the 2014 USA 3x3 World Championship Teams will be selected. The 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championship will be held in Moscow, Russia (June, dates TBD). Denver’s Corey Campbell and FST-L.I.’s Ieasia Walker were named MVP of the men’s and women’s tournaments, respectively.
“Coming out of last year with our first 3x3 tournament, this USA 3x3 National Championship Tournament was by far way better than last year,” Travis Johnson (USA Basketball 3x3 Program Director) said of the second-annual tournament. “However, we still have a long way to go to push this in the future to make it even better than it was this year. The level of talent that came out here as compared to last year just shows and proves that 3x3 is making its way back into the USA.”
“It’s such a great honor, especially to be here representing our country,” said Campbell after leading Denver to the men’s title. “This is our second year, we got third last year, so we’ve been working hard and practicing all summer to try and get back here and get what’s rightfully ours.”
“It means a lot to win this tournament, we’re playing in USA Basketball, which is the highest level of competition outside of pros because you’re representing your country,” said former University of South Carolina standout Walker. “It’s great to compete against other great athletes from across the nation. It’s a great competition to be a part of.”
The Denver team, all of whom list Denver as their hometown, also included Derek Griffin, Derrick Lemuel and Domonique Perez; while Walker’s FST-L.I. teammates, all of whom are from Long Island, include former collegiate athletes Ashley Bruner (South Carolina), Gabrielle Gibson (Assumption College) and Kaitlyn Oberg (Furman University).
Named to the 2013 USA 3x3 National Championship All-Tournament Teams were: Campbell, Pluto’s Nick Fox (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Freestyle’s Kevin Lawrence (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Metro State’s Demetrius Miller (Denver, Colo.) for the men; while Primus’ Napheesa Collier (St. Louis, Mo.) and Sophie Cunningham (Columbia, Mo.), Colorado Springs Ballers’ Shamela Hampton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Walker made up the women’s team.
After finishing 4-1 in yesterday’s preliminary round, Denver defeated Vae Victus (2-4) 22-12 in the quarterfinals, beat Freestyle (3-4) 21-17 in the semifinals and edged Pluto (6-2) 21-18 in the gold medal game.
FST-L.I. was seeded second following yesterday’s preliminary round action and collected a 21-14 semifinal victory over Colorado Springs Ballers (2-3) before vindicating its only loss of the tournament by knocking off previously undefeated Primus (5-1) 20-15 in the gold medal game.
Both teams used the 2014 USA 3x3 automatic berth as an extra motivator.
“That’s what we’ve really been looking forward to, traveling,” said Campbell. “We’ve been traveling so much as a team with the FIBA 3x3 World Tour. This year we’re going to Puerto Rico and if we win that, we go to Turkey in October. We love to travel. It would be the highest honor (to represent the USA in Moscow next summer). That’s why we all do it, to be able to represent our country is the ultimate goal.”
“We didn’t want to go to another qualifier,” said Walker. “To win this feels pretty good. The competition was top notch, so it feels good to win. It would be great (to win next summer); I’ve never been outside the country. It’s very exciting. We’d be representing USA Basketball if we do win next year, so that would be a great accomplishment.”
The weekend also featured a men’s and women’s 3-point shootout, skills competition and a hot shot competition. Winners of the 3-point shootout were Sam Owsley (Denver, Colo.) of Vae Victus and Gibson; Tyler Morris of Vae Victus and Walker won the skills competition; while Nick Fox (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Nate Lark (Colorado Springs, Colo.) of Pluto and Napheesa Collier (St. Louis, Mo.) and Cierra Porter (Columbia, Mo.) of Primus earned top honors in the hot shot competition.
In addition to the on-court experience, all participants stayed on complex at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, where they ate, slept and played amongst other national team members and Olympic hopefuls from many different sports.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men’s and women’s basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
During the 2009-12 quadrennium, 1,273 male and female players and 235 coaches participated in USA Basketball, including USA Basketball teams and trials, and USA Basketball 3x3 FIBA championships.
USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams between 2009-12 compiled an impressive 264-35 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the Pan American Games, the World University Games, the Nike Hoop Summit and in exhibition games.
USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics; men’s and women’s FIBA World Championships (Basketball World Cup); men’s and women’s FIBA U19 World Championship; men’s and women’s FIBA U17 World Championships; men’s and women’s U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships; FIBA 3x3 Women’s World Championship; and FIBA 3x3 Women’s U18 World Championship. USA Basketball also currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA’s world-ranking categories, including combined, men’s, women’s, boys and girls.
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