DLDC, Defend Capture USA Basketball Men’s, Women’s U18 3x3 National Championship, Earn Berth To FIBA U18 3x3 Worlds
Aug. 11, 2013 • Colorado Springs, Colo.
DLDC (7-1) and Defend (7-0) captured the men’s and women’s USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Championship Tournament titles Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. In claiming their respective titles, both teams also earned the right to represent USA Basketball at the 2013 FIBA U18 3x3 World Championship Sept. 26-29 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The men’s team, which regained the lead with about two minutes remaining and held off the Nets (7-1) 21-16 in the championship game, features Cliff Alexander (Chicago, Ill.), University of Tennessee commit Larry Austin, Jr. (Springfield, Ill.), University of Colorado commit Dominique Collier (Denver, Colo.) and Cleveland State University signee DeMonte Flannigan (Cleveland, Ohio); while the women’s team, which defeated Primus (6-1) 21-10 in the title game, includes Gabby Green (Oakland, Calif.), Arike Ogunbowale (Milwaukee, Wis.), Katie Lou Samuelson (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and University of Notre Dame commit Brianna Turner (Houston, Texas).
Alexander and Obunbowale were named tournament MVPs.
Both teams will return to Colorado Springs to train at the USOTC Sept. 21-24 before traveling to Indonesia. The USA women are defending gold medalists at the 3x3 U18s, while the 2012 USA men’s 3x3 U18 squad finished with the silver medal.
“The men’s and women’s USA U18 3x3 National Teams played their hearts out during the 2013 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championship, and look to take that same energy to Jakarta, Indonesia in September.” said Travis Johnson, USA Basketball’s 3x3 Program Director. “With both teams having veteran players from last year, the new additions bring strength, size, and skills needed as they will face tough international competition in striving to win gold medals at the 2013 FIBA U18 3x3 World Championship.”
“It was pretty tough, they came out hyped to play us,” said Austin, who took home silver at the 2012 FIBA 3x3 U18 Worlds, following the final game. “Dominique Collier, he stepped up in a big way. Those are his teammates in high school, so they wanted to go head-to-head. That’s good for us, and good for him. I thought we played pretty well and we responded well as well.
“It’s very important for me to have another chance to win gold. We lost last year on a last-second bucket. We’re trying to go back with revenge this year.”
“It feels really good to win this, because last year we didn’t have to play anyone to get to the 3x3 U18 Worlds,” said three-time USA Basketball gold medalist Turner, who recently captured gold with the 2013 USA U19 World Championship Team and also won gold medals last summer as a member of the USA U17 World Championship and USA 3x3 U18 World Championship teams. “But this year we actually went through the whole tournament process, you get to get a look at teams and play against teams. The team we beat in the championship game, we lost to them before (in a 3x3 pre-tournament), so there was even more pressure for us to beat them.
“I was able to tell them about how quick it is and how to get points so quick and rebound. If you rebound, we’re all tall, so we can get points in transition,” added Turner on what she was able to tell her teammates about the 3x3 game.
The third annual FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship, which was billed as the 2011 FIBA 3x3 Youth World Championship in its inaugural year, is expected to feature 24 women’s teams and 32 men’s teams and the top teams will qualify for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. Athletes must be 18-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1995) in order to compete. In addition to the men’s and women’s tournament, included in the 3x3 U18 World Championship program for the weekend will be skills contests and a mixed-team tournament with two males and two females competing on one team for their country. In 2012 the 3x3 U18 skills competitions included a 3-point shootout (women only), a dunk contest (men only) and a “2 Ball” contest (mixed) in which each person from a team of two athletes shot from five different positions on the court in a 60-second span.
“I’m very excited to have the chance to go back and try to get what was ours, because we should have won it last year,” said Flannigan, who teamed with Austin on the 2012 USA 3x3 U18 World Championship Team. “We just have to go back and try to win it again.
“This year’s competition was a lot tougher than last year’s,” added Flannigan. “More people know about it, since it’s the second year. Anybody can win in this game. It’s about being fast and being smart.”
The weekend also featured a men’s and women’s 3-point shootout, a ball handling skills challenge and a hot shot competition. Winners of the 3-point shootout were Brandon Book (Denver, Colo.) of team Louisville and Samuelson; Louisville’s Chances Matlock (Denver, Colo.) and Primus’ Alecia Sutton (St. Louis, Mo.) won the ball handling skills challenge; while Collier and Flannigan, and Arella Guiranthes (Westbury, N.Y.) and Zaire O’Neal (Selden, N.Y.) earned top honors in the hot shot competition.
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.