2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11

USA Women Claim FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship Gold

September 29, 2013 • Jakarta, Indonesia

FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship For Men's Results
FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship For Women's Results

For the second consecutive year, the USA Women’s 3x3 U18 World Championship Team (8-1) claimed gold at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship. The USA handled Estonia (7-2) 21-12 to stake their claim on the gold medal Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sunday.

By virtue of winning the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship, the women earned the United States a qualifying spot in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

The victorious 2013 USA U18 3x3 team included University of California commit Gabby Green (St. Mary’s College H.S./Oakland, Calif.), Arike Ogunbowale (Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.), Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.), and University of Notre Dame commit Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S./Pearland, Texas).

“I feel like if we wouldn’t have won the gold we would have been really disappointed that we spent all this time and wasted everybody’s time basically, but I’m really happy that we won and our time wasn’t put to waste,” said Green.

“It feels great, it’s really cool. It took a lot of work,” added Ogunbowale about the team’s capturing of the gold medal.

When asked about the characteristics of this gold medal team, Ogunbowale responded, “Probably just the drive, motivation, determination, all those three. We wanted to win; we didn’t want anything less than a gold medal.”

Carrying a 6-1 record into Sunday’s medal round quarterfinals, the USA women nipped then undefeated France (6-1) 17-15 in a tight contest.

“We knew we had to come out hard and if we played the way we did against Spain the day before we knew we could win it. So we just came out and played as hard as we could and we just wanted this and we played really well,” said Samuelson about the game versus France.

2012 FIBA 3x3 U18 silver medalist Spain (6-3) was next for the USA, and for the second time in the competition, the U.S. women came out on top earning a 15-10 win.

“It was of course a harder game because we had already beat them so they were coming out for revenge and to get to the gold medal game too. But once again we just really stuck to our game plan and we were able to pull out the win,” said Turner, who also won gold at the 2012 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship.

Facing 7-1 Estonia in the gold medal game, the USA powered its way to a decisive 21-12 win and the gold medals. In the bronze medal game, Spain defeated Italy (6-3) 14-7 in the bronze medal game.

“We started off really well. Estonia played hard but we really kept a face paced game and I think we tired them out and we kept going with our intensity and it really helped,” said Samuelson.

The U.S. men were eliminated by Lithuania from the medal hunt in Saturday’s Round of 16 and finished with an impressive 7-1 overall record. In the men’s medal finals, Argentina (11-0) defeated France (9-2) 13-7 to take the men's gold, and Russia (8-3) upended Lithuania (6-5) 19-16 to capture the bronze medal.

The 2013 USA Men’s U18 3x3 team included Cliff Alexander (Curie H.S./Chicago, Ill.), University of Tennessee commit Larry Austin, Jr. (Lanphier H.S./Springfield, Ill.), University of Colorado commit Dominique Collier (Denver East H.S./Denver, Colo.) and Cleveland State University signee DeMonte Flannigan (Villa Angela-St. Joseph H.S./Cleveland, Ohio).

“In the first five games our team was really rolling, everything was on point – our passes, we were doing everything the right way, we were playing hard no matter who we played against,” said Flannigan on the men’s team play. “Then we made a few mistakes and it cost us. One of the big things was we dunked a lot. The new rule is that a dunk is worth two points so in that last game they were really physical, fouling us a lot and we couldn’t dunk and that was our game most of the time.”

The USA’s Flannigan participated in the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship Dunk Contest and captured the bronze medal. Kobe Paras from the Philippines and Spain’s Antonio Morales won the gold and silver medals, respectively, and China’s Sun Ming Hui was also awarded a bronze medal.

“Of course I wanted to win it but I couldn’t get my dunk to go today,” said Flannigan.

The third annual FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship (billed as the 2011 FIBA 3x3 Youth World Championship in its inaugural year) featured 24 women’s teams and 32 men’s teams from around the world. Athletes must be 18-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1995) in order to compete.

 

Additional Quotes >> 2013 USA Women's 3x3 U18 World Championship Team

 Gabby Green (St. Mary’s College H.S./Oakland, Calif.)

How does it feel to win gold?
It feels really good to have a second gold medal for this summer.

The road to the gold medal was challenging how difficult were the final three games?
They were all really physical games and we were playing like non-stop. We had to play really hard and make really smart decisions.

The winning of the gold medal seemed to be a total team effort. Talk about the chemistry this team had.
I feel like our chemistry was good right from the start when we first got together. We didn’t really know each other but we still had really good chemistry from the very beginning. It takes a great group of great people to come together like we did. We adapted to each other really well and know what each other does well.

This took a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment. Does winning gold make all the sacrifices and work pay off?
Yeah, It definitely does. I feel like if we wouldn’t have won the gold we would have been really disappointed that we spent all this time and wasted everybody’s time basically, but I’m really happy that we won and our time wasn’t put to waste.

 

Arike Ogunbowale (Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.)

How’s it feel to win gold?
It feels great, it’s really cool. It took a lot of work.

What were the keys to winning gold?
We just had to be more physical than the other teams and keep up our intensity the whole time and come out strong every game.

Did fatigue become a factor with it being hot and playing so many fast-paced games in a short amount of time? Could you feel the other teams tiring?
We felt they were (tiring), you could just tell. We did well because we subbed often and that kept us pretty fresh.

The winning of the gold medal was a team effort, it seemed like there was great balance on the USA team.
Oh yeah, I felt it a lot. Even from Colorado our first time playing with each other. At first it was a little rough but then we kind of came together really quickly and so then I knew it would be good from there. We have a feel for how each other plays, Gabby and Bri (Brinna Turner) played with each other and then me and Katie and played with each other and we put it all together.

What were some of the characteristics that led the team to gold?
Probably just the drive, motivation, determination, all those three. We wanted to win, we didn’t want anything less than a gold medal so that helped and our pride in our country.

 Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.)

How does it feel to win gold?
It feels great; it was a great experience.

Talk about the gold medal game with Estonia; what was the key?
We started off really well. Estonia played hard but we really kept a face paced game and I think we tired them out and we kept going with our intensity and it really helped.

France entered its game with the U.S. 6-0, what did you think the key was in this game?
We knew we had to come out hard and if we played the way we did against Spain the day before we knew we could win it. So we just came out and played as hard as we could and we just wanted this and we played really well.

The winning of the gold medal seemed to be a total team effort. The team appeared to have really good chemistry. Is that true?
We got along really well and we all knew our strengths and weaknesses and we all helped each game. We all got along great and we’re really close now and it was great to play with them.

Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S./Pearland, Texas)

How does it feel to win gold?
It feels really great.

It was a tough road just to get to the gold medal game. It started with a 6-0 French team. What were the team’s thoughts heading into that game?
Before the game we talked about what kind of strategy we’d use, how we defend them and how we would try our best to score against them. I think we just really stuck to the game plan and that’s how we won.

After beating France, you had to face Spain, a team you knew well from last year’s 3x3 U18 World Championship and from playing them this year in the preliminary round. Talk about playing Spain in the semifinals.
It was of course a harder game because we had already beaten them so they were coming out for revenge and to get to the gold medal game too. But once again we just really stuck to our game plan and we were able to pull out the win.

Facing Estonia in the gold medal game what was the game plan for this one?
We wanted the game to be quick, we didn’t want to have any close games, we wanted to get to 21 and get the gold medal without and troubles.

This took a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment. Does winning gold make all the sacrifices and work pay off?
Yes of course, even though I missed a week of school and have to make up work; hey I got another gold medal so it kind of makes up for it.