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Additional Quotes: USA 92, France 40

  • Date:
    Jul 29, 2018

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USA U17 head coach Carla Berube (Tufts University)
On the journey the USA team has taken over the past month:
It’s been an amazing ride, from the team being named in May after trials, they went home for a month and then when they came back in early July, they were ready to go, in shape and excited. Those double sessions in Colorado and our travel to D.C. and Latvia, and then the culmination here in Belarus, it’s been amazing. It’s been an awesome experience, and I’m so happy to have been able to coach these 12 players.

On the USA’s defensive effort:
I thought we did a great job in the first half. I thought France was able to make some really tough shots. And then, in the second half, we just clamped down. I think Aliyah Boston did a really great job on (Iliana) Rupert, who is a really great player. We helped her out and got out on shooters, then we got out on the break and made plays. We really shared the ball the way we’ve been sharing it all tournament.

On the play of Haley Jones and Jordan Horston:
The two of them, they bring such great length and athleticism. They can guard anybody on the court. They also are such great finishers and passers. It’s really nice coaching that type of athlete and player, that is so versatile and can do so many different things.

On when the final buzzer sounded:
It just felt amazing. It’s been an incredible journey with Steve (Gomez) and Vanessa (Nygaard) starting from last May (2017) and getting ready for the FIBA Americas U16 Championship, and working hard to win that. Finally, we are here and playing in the gold medal game, and then winning it like that, it was really gratifying.

Aliyah Boston (Worcester Academy/St. Thomas, USVI)
Were you surprised to be named to the All-Star Five?
I’m going to say no. I don’t think so. I kind of knew it because I know I’ve been working really hard and I guess that paid off.

On the USA’s dominant effort in the gold medal game:
It means a lot, especially since two years ago, USA won bronze in this competition, so to come out with our team, we grew so much as a family over this past month together. This means a lot.

How were you able to lock down this France team?
We knew what we needed to do. We came together as a team. We trusted everyone, help defense was there, we closed out and everything else just worked out in our favor.

What are your thoughts on Jordan Horston being named MVP?
She’s a baller. She’s a walking bucket. She played so well over this entire time.

Jordan Horston (Columbus Africentric Early College/Columbus, Ohio)
What’s the feeling after winning gold?
It’s just amazing. All this hard work that we put in from the beginning of the month, it finally paid off. To know I got it done with these ladies, it’s just so great.

On the team’s chemistry:
I love these girls. Some of them were on the (USA U16) team last year, and we kept those great bonds. We stayed in contact. Then, some new girls came in, and there’s nothing better. These are my sisters forever. The chemistry on the court and off the court, it’s just unbreakable.

On winning MVP:
It’s a blessing. I’ve been giving God the credit every day. I’m just happy to be here, but to be named MVP, it’s unbelievable.

How much did it mean to you to hear that final buzzer and know the hard work paid off?
I couldn’t hold it back. Paige (Bueckers) and I were on that sideline ready to break down the barriers and get out on the court and celebrate with these girls. I love them.

Haley Jones (Archbishop Mitty H.S./Santa Cruz, Calif.)
How were you able to shut down France from the start?
I think it was a team effort from the very beginning. The other day we came out with a little bit of nerves, but today we knew we had to give it our all. It was our last time playing together with these coaches, this team, so we just left everything we had out there on the court.

How much did it mean to you to hear that final buzzer and know the hard work paid off?
Oh, it meant so much. We’ve been together for the last month and we’ve become a family, so it means so much to us. The coaches have put in so much time, everybody that has been with us this whole time. It was a moment of being grateful for everything and knowing all your hard work paid off.

How great was the team’s effort this tournament?
We became such a family that we played for each other every minute of every game. We enjoyed our time together on and off the court. It was just fun to play together, share the ball, talk it up – it was great.

 

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