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All-Star Five

Gold Medal Game Additional Quotes: USA U17 Men 96, Turkey 56 (7/3/16)

  • Date:
    Jul 3, 2016

Zaragoza, Spain • Gold Medal Game

USA head coach Don Showalter (USA Basketball)
On winning the gold medal with this team:
For having a group like this come together as well as they have, especially on the defensive end was a real tribute to Miles Simon and Mike Jones. It was one of those things where you don’t plan on having a team that’s going to be as quite as good as this, but every game, they got better and better. We really played well tonight.
What do you think Turkey’s game plan was tonight?
They attacked us early. I think it was 8-2 or something and then our defense just swarmed them. They missed some shots, we would rebound and be able to run in transition off those rebounds. This group is such a good transition group that it’s hard to keep up when you have 12 guys who can all do the same thing.
On Collin Sexton:
Collin was a late addition for us. He had such a good spring and high school year and we said that we at least got to get him to come to training camp and the rest is history as they say. He did not only a solid job, but he did a great job offensively and defensively getting everyone involved. He scored the ball when he had to score and really caused a lot of problems for the other teams defensively.

On Wendell Carter Jr.
Wendell is such a dominant force inside and the nice thing about Wendell is he can really be a dominant force without scoring points. Defensively and rebounding, we saw it throughout the whole tournament. I’m glad for him to get the recognition he deserved even though he wasn’t one of our top two or three scorers, but that showed he can dominate the inside.

Troy Brown (Centennial H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.)
How does it feel to be a U17 World Champion?
This is amazing, especially this being my first time. Last year, I didn’t make it and I was disappointed, but this is the ultimate feeling with these guys, great team and a great coaching staff.
Have you ever won a championship and how does this compare?
Mostly in AAU. During high school, we usually make it to regional championships, but this is a completely different feeling.
On winning the U17 World Championship gold medal with this team:
This is just a great group of guys. We’re goofy, fun loving, easy to get along with and it helps us bond and easier to play on the court.
I feel like having 12 great players come out and everyone I feel like can play or start on any team in the world, so with our bench being a lot deeper, we were able to come out and attack them more aggressively as we were supposed to. Even though being down a couple points in the beginning, we rallied to get our momentum back.
On everyone playing their roles and not complaining about playing time:
We’re more skilled and we understand the game. We know our roles that we’re going to play our three or four minutes at a time and play them as hard as we can.

Wendell Carter Jr. (Pace Academy/Fairburn, Ga.)
On being named to the all-tournament team:
This is a great honor. There are a lot of great players on this team. I guess I separated myself from everybody by going as hard as I can.

What are your thoughts on Collin Sexton being named MVP?
I can’t disagree with it. He goes out and plays hard every game.

What did he do in the first quarter for your team?
He gives great energy off the bench. That’s one of the main purposes for him being on this team, it’s the great energy he brings every game. So, when he brought that energy in tonight, everybody picked it up and we were able to capitalize off of it.

How good does it feel to win a U17 World Championship with this group of guys?
It feels great. We got a few added players from last year that we didn’t have and it feels great to share a moment like this with even more players.

Collin Sexton (Pebblebrook H.S./Mableton, Ga.)
On being named MVP:
This is a great honor. We’ve been working hard since June 10 being able to make the team and then win the gold medal is a big thing in itself.”
On his role on the team:
Coach always told me to come off the bench with energy, play defense, pick up a man full court and just do the small things, and it will pay off in the end.
On being on the All-Star Five with Wendell Carter Jr.
Wendell played really good. There were a few games when he was unstoppable in the paint and nobody could guard him. We had to keep feeding him.
On being MVP and following in the footsteps of previous U17 MVPs Bradley Beal (2010), Justise Winslow (2012) and Malik Newman (2104):
It feels great. It showed my hard work paid off and now I’m going to keep working to get better.

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