Fighting back from a 20-point second quarter deficit, the 2015 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team (5-0) earned a hard-fought 77-60 victory over Canada (4-1) on June 14 to earn the FIBA Americas Championship gold medal in Bahía Blanca, Argentina. The gold medal marked the fourth gold in as many editions of the U16 tournament, and the USA now owns a perfect 20-0 record overall in U16 play since the biennial tournament launched in 2009.
It also marked the start of a very successful 2015 tournament season for USA Basketball.
Gary Trent Jr. was named MVP of the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. In the final against Canada, Trent tied for the team-lead with 19 points and led the USA with three 3-pointers.
With a gold medal on the line, the USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team (6-0) took a three-point lead into the fourth quarter and then nearly doubled up Canada (5-1) in the final 10 minutes, scoring 34 points in the period, to secure an 82-63 triumph in the 2015 World University Games championship game on July 13 in Gwangju, South Korea. The gold medal is the USA women’s sixth-straight and 10th overall in World University Games history.
Following 40 competitive minutes during which neither the USA (7-0) nor Croatia (5-2) could pull away, the USA rolled in the five minutes of overtime and outscored upset-minded Croatia 12-4 to earn a hard-fought 79-71 win in the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship gold medal game July 5 in Heraklion, Greece. It was a second consecutive FIBA U19 world title for the Americans who also won the event in 2013.
Jalen Brunson (Stevenson H.S./ Lincolnshire, Ill.), who finished the seven game championship averaging 14.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and team-highs of 5.6 assists and 2.1 steals a game, was named the Most Valuable Player of the FIBA U19 World Championship.
Like it had done the entire tournament, the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team (7-0) went inside early and often to capture a record sixth-straight and seventh overall FIBA U19 World Championship gold medal. Played in front of a packed full and deafening arena, the USA captured the gold medal in a 78-70 fight-to-the-finish victory against host Russia (6-1) on July 26 in Chekhov, Russia.
A’ja Wilson (South Carolina/Hopkins, S.C.), who scored a USA U19 single-game record 30 points against Russia and averaged 18.3 points per game throughout the tournament, earned MVP honors.
After being edged out by France (8-1) 20-19 in a hard-fought gold medal game, the USA Basketball Women’s 3x3 U18 World Championship Team (8-1) earned a silver medal at the 2015 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship on July 7 in Debrecen, Hungary.
The 2015 U.S. Pan American Women’s Basketball Team (4-1) finished with a silver medal after coming up short and losing 81-73 to host Canada (5-0) in the gold medal game of the 2015 Pan American Games on July 20 at Ryerson Athletic Center in Toronto, Canada.
Aerial Powers led the team with 27 points, and she finished with nine rebounds. Powers also led the team in scoring for the tournament with 18 points per game on 51.4 percent shooting from the floor.
Two-time USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut) led the USA squad with an average of 18.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
After putting itself in a huge hole, the U.S. Pan American Games Men’s Basketball Team (3-2) -- led by head coach Mark Few -- stormed back from a 21-point third quarter deficit to claim an 87-82 victory over Dominican Republic (1-4) and capture the bronze medal July 25 in Toronto, Canada.
The 2015 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team (4-1) jumped to an 8-0 lead and never looked back in its bronze medal 81-24 victory over host Mexico (2-3) in the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship on June 28 in Puebla, Mexico. Canada (5-0) won the gold medal with a 72-71 overtime win over Brazil (3-2), which took home silver.
Winning teams were crowned July 26 at the 2015 USA Basketball 3x3 National Tournament at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, including men’s champions Corey Campbell (San Diego, Calif.), Derek Griffin (Denver, Colo.), Marcus King-Stockton (Denver, Colo.) and Gary Sugar (Denver, Colo.) of the lone undefeated team, Denver (8-0); and women’s champions Chrissy Given (Monroe, La.), Angela Goodman (Wardell, Mo.), Shamela Hampton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Veshaundra Young (Pulaski, Tenn.) of team Unknowns (7-1). In addition to winning the tournament, Denver and Unknowns each earned a berth into next summer’s 2016 USA Basketball 3x3 National Tournament, which will qualify one men’s and one women’s team for the 2016 FIBA World Championship in Guangzhou, China.
2015 USA Basketball Tournaments Recap
U19 Gold Medal Game: USA 79, Croatia 71 (OT)