USA Men, Women Undefeated In First Day Of Competition At The 2013 FIBA Americas 3x3 U18 Championship
Aug. 31, 2013
The USA Men's (3-0) and Women's (2-0) 3x3 U18 National Teams wrapped up a successful first day of competition at the inaugural FIBA Americas 3x3 U18 Championship on Saturday in Fort Washington, Md.
The U.S. men compiled a 3-0 record with wins against the U.S. Virgin Islands (22-9), Guatemala (21-1) and Belize (5); meanwhile the U.S. women are 2-0 with victories against U.S. Virgin Islands (21-4) and Puerto Rico (16-5).
“This was a very, very productive day for both teams,” said Travis Johnson, USA Basketball 3x3 Programs Director. “Between the team chemistry I saw and the wins they picked up, I think we are where we want to be as far as training camp and in our preparation for the World Championship next month.”
Earlier this summer at the 2013 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championship Tournament, the respective USA squads emerged as tournament champions and thereby qualified to represent the United States at the upcoming 2013 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship. While the U.S. contingent has its sights set on again claiming gold at the 3x3 U18 Worlds, the FIBA Americas 3x3 U18 Championship is a valuable opportunity to gain experience.
“Our team played really well today,” said USA men's guard Dominique Collier (Denver East H.S./Denver, Colo.). “The most important thing was we shared the ball, and we just believed in every body and had confidence in the whole team.
“I did see improvement from our last tournament,” Collier continued. “We started off strong and we came out quick. We just need to play tomorrow as hard as we played today, and I think we will come out focused and ready to play from the get-go.”
The U.S. men will wrap up the preliminary round Sunday morning against Canada (3-0) at 9 a.m. (all times listed are Eastern Daylight Time) before playing Puerto Rico (2-1) at 10:30 a.m. The top four finishing teams advance to the championship round semifinals on Sunday afternoon.
In the women's tournament, the U.S. will wrap up preliminary round play against Canada (2-0) at 10 a.m., and the women's semifinals and finals will be played on Sunday as well.
“I feel like we played really well today," said U.S. forward Gabby Green (St. Mary’s College H.S./Oakland, Calif.). “We played two different kinds of teams, so we showed that we can win against a more physical team like Puerto Rico and a team that wasn't as tall as us like U.S. Virgin Islands.
“I feel like we are better than we were in Colorado Springs because we kind of already know what each other's strengths are, so it made it a lot easier to play together,” Green continued. “We still need to have a talk about playing Canada. We definitely have to come out with a game plan of how to stop them and how to score.”
Green is joined by Arike Ogunbowale (Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S./Milwaukee, Wisc.), Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.) and University of Notre Dame commit Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S./Pearland, Texas).
“We are really excited for this tournament to be the opening for us headed to Indonesia,” Green said. “We want to come out on top and with the win, so we can go into Indonesia confident and knowing we are a strong team.”
The 2013 USA Men’s 3x3 U18 team also includes Cliff Alexander (Curie H.S./Chicago, Ill.), University of Tennessee commit Larry Austin, Jr. (Lanphier H.S./Springfield, Ill.) and Cleveland State University signee DeMonte Flannigan (Villa Angela-St. Joseph H.S./Cleveland, Ohio).
“Today was what we needed to wake up and knock off the dust,” Johnson said. “The way we played today, I think they built their confidence up today to face Canada tomorrow -- both the men’s and women’s teams.
“We decided to move our training camp here to the FIBA Americas tournament because it gives both teams confidence, and if we come out on top like we hope to, momentum going into Jakarta,” Johnson continued.
The third annual FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship (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 from Sept. 27-29 in Jakarta, Indonesia, 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.