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USA U18 Women

Additional Quotes: USA U18 Women vs. Canada

  • Date:
    Jul 18, 2016

USA Head Coach Suzie McConnell-Serio (Pittsburgh)
Against Canada, you started to pull away in the second quarter and then really turned in on in the second half. What was the difference?

We went over a lot of things they would run offensively and how we wanted to defend. I think when we got comfortable defending their sets, we tried playing more aggressive and taking away their first, second and third options allowing us to create our offense from our defense. I thought Tyasha Harris really set the tone once she picked up the defensive pressure, and she had a really good game for us. We got contributions from everyone, and it was quite a performance, because Canada is a great team. They’re very talented, and I was concerned coming in having seen them play throughout this tournament and seeing how successful they’ve been. 

What does it mean to win the gold medal?
I’m so proud of this team. They gave everything they had preparing for this tournament from the two-a-days back in Colorado Springs to get ready, and learning a new system offensively and defensively. There were times that they put on a clinic, when they surprised people with the chemistry they developed and really played well together. I couldn’t be more proud of what they accomplished, and I’m so happy for each and every one of them that they’ll have the opportunity to get up on that platform and have a gold medal placed around their necks, wearing USA across their chest. There’s no greater moment in sports at any level.

USA Assistant Coach Kamie Ethridge (Northern Colorado)
What does it mean to win the gold medal?

It’s just a thrill. From the beginning, to be a part of this after being selected to be a part of the coaching staff, and the opportunity to represent your country. It feels like it’s been some time since we brought this team together as a bunch of individuals, but they played so well, and I’m so happy for them. I’m happy for Suzie, but really more than anything just proud to represent the United States and win a gold medal. 

USA Assistant Coach Charlotte Smith (Elon)
What does it mean to win gold?

This was an exciting opportunity. We’re just so proud of the team and everything that they accomplished from the beginning of training camp to now. We gelled as a team, and we became better as a team. It’s gratifying as a coach to see players get better because ultimately, that’s our goal, is to help them get better. It’s an unbelievable feeling to walk away with a gold medal, and I’m so proud of Coach Suzie (McConnell-Serio, Coach Kamie (Ethridge) and the team. 

Jeannie Boehm (New Trier H.S./Winnetka, Ill.)
How does it feel to win a gold medal?

It is an unbelievable feeling. I think it really sunk in when we heard the National Anthem play. It is kind of indescribable. 

What has this experience meant to you?
I think a big take away for me is the friendships and the girls. But, also the overall experience – competing with USA on my chest will be another big take away. 

Rellah Boothe (IMG Academy/Ocala, Fla.)
How does it feel to win a gold medal?

It feels so unreal. We all worked really hard for this, and I feel like we deserved it. 

What has this experience meant to you?
The experience has been excellent. I got to play with all of the top players from around the U.S., and it was really, really great. I loved it. I really loved it. I wish I could replay it again. 

Chennedy Carter (Timberview H.S./Mansfield, Texas)
How does it feel to win a gold medal?

It’s an amazing feeling. I’m feeling really good – the fans, the team. We just worked together, and we pulled it off. We fought hard, and I’m just glad that we won. 

What will you take away from this experience?
Probably just how I got better and how I learned to work through when things were going my way. How to play with a big crowd and just play hard and play with my team.

Sidney Cooks (Saint Joseph Catholic Academy/Kenosha, Wis.)
How does it feel to win a gold medal?

It feels unbelievable. For 3x3 (U18 World Championship) I was so upset getting the silver, and now I finally have gold around my neck. It feels unexplainable. 

What has this experience meant to you?
I became a better player throughout this, and I have friends now that I know I will have for a lifetime. They always say the friendships are what you will get out of this, and I really cherish that.

Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Flower Mound, Texas)
How does it feel to win your fourth gold medal?

It’s an awesome feeling. Every year I come here (USA Basketball), and that’s my main goal. So, it’s a great feeling. 

On winning MVP:
It’s an honor. There are a lot of great players here. I really have been working hard for it, so it’s an honor.

On the game:
I think our defense was the difference. Our defense really picked up and started to create our offense. 

Dana Evans (West Side Leadership Academy/Gary, Ind.)
How does it feel to win a gold medal?

It means a lot representing your country. We came out, and we played hard for 40 minutes and all of the practices and everything paid off. 

Have you grown as a player?
I have grown as a point guard. I’ve been more vocal and leading the team better. 

Tyasha Harris (Heritage Christian/Noblesville, Ind.)
On the game:

We just kept pushing the tempo and stayed with the system. 

How does it feel to win a gold medal?
It feels great. It is my first gold medal. It’s amazing, and I had a great time with this team.

Did you get better as a player?
I definitely got better. We are all great players. We know our roles, and I just felt like I did what I had to do.

Ruthy Hebard (West Valley H.S./Fairbanks, Alaska)
How does it feel to win a gold medal?

It feels amazing. It’s great. 

What has this experience meant to you?
I think I got a lot better during training camp and during the tournament, too. Having to sit out two games really made me want to play in the last game, and I’m really glad I got to. I played well, I think, so I’m really glad I got to go out like that.

Valerie Higgins (Chaminade College Prep/Granada Hills, Calif.)
How does it feel to win a gold medal?

It’s bigger than anything you can imagine. Playing for your country and representing your country is everything I thought it would be and so much more. Even taking pictures with people afterward and seeing how much of an impact we have is really great. 

What has this experience meant to you?
It is a dream come true to be able to have this experience. We have all bonded together, and for us to be able to come out with the gold at the end really shows how much we have come together as a team.

Amber Ramirez (Karen Wagner H.S./San Antonio, Texas)
How does it feel to win a gold medal?

I’m speechless. Words can’t describe how I feel right now. I’m just super proud of our team and how we pushed through. I’m just really excited right now. 

What will you take away from this experience?
The team and the coaching staff, of course. I think we came together. We only had a short amount of time together, and we came together and pushed through everything that we had to push through.

Megan Walker (Monacan H.S./Chesterfield, Va.)
How does it feel to win a gold medal?

It is an explainable feeling. We are happy to be here, happy to win gold for our country. We represented it well.

What has this experience meant to you?
I learned a lot about adversity. Canada played us tough. The game was back-and-forth until we started to pull away. 

What will you remember?
The experiences and the bonds we made with our teammates. This was the last time we will be on the court together, so we had to end it right.

Evina Westbrook (South Salem H.S./Salem, Ore.)
How does it feel to win a gold medal?
It is pretty much an indescribable feeling right now. I’ve been dreaming of being on the USA team since I was little. Definitely, we worked hard for this with my team, so it feels amazing right now.

On the game:
It was very close in the first quarter, but I believed in my team, and we never got down on each other. 

What has this experience meant to you?
It was a crazy experience in a good way. There is really nothing like it. You have new obstacles to overcome, and you just grow as a person and also as a player. I will take that to elevate my game.

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