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Additional Quotes: USA 84, Canada 60

  • Date:
    Aug 7, 2018

Game Story
• Box Score

USA head coach Jeff Walz (Louisville)
On the game:
We knew it was going to be a good ballgame. Canada is very well coached, they’ve got talented players and they made some adjustments. And then as the time went, we got comfortable with things, and we made the adjustments. I thought the players did an outstanding job of looking for each other, instead of looking to make things happen for themselves. They were trying to get their teammates involved. 

Can you talk about the team’s performance in the third quarter?
We came out and ran a set we hadn’t run before, we executed it perfect and we got Rhyne (Howard) an open shot and she knocks it down. That put a smile on her face, and the bench got excited, everybody got excited. Then we come up with a stop and another score by Christyn (Williams), and that kind of put the momentum in our corner.

What have you seen out of this team throughout this process?
I’ve seen growth, and I’ve seen them become one. We talked about it all the time – it has to come to a point where you are playing for each other. I really believe the last few days, they started to buy into that. And, if somebody were to get beat, instead of worrying about what the coaches were going to say, they were worried about letting their teammates down, and I thought that was really what brought us together.

What does this gold medal mean to you?
It’s an honor just to be a part of USA Basketball. It wouldn’t matter to me if Carol (Callan, USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director) called and asked me to be a manager, I’d come and do it. It’s an amazing standard that they set here at USA Basketball, and I think I learn not just from every opportunity, but every day. You are expected to do it right, and that’s just a standard that is set at the top. That’s why I love to come out and be a part of it. It’s a wonderful feeling. 

Maori Davenport (Charles Henderson H.S./Troy, Ala.)
What did it mean to you to be named to the all-tournament team?
I was low-key shocked, because I feel like I had 10 other teammates who deserved the award, too. 

Rhyne Howard (Kentucky/Cleveland, Tenn.)
What did it mean to you to be named MVP?
I was shocked, but I felt good at the same time, because it meant people thought I was playing well enough to earn the honor. 

Ashley Joens (Iowa State/Iowa City, Iowa)
On the game:
We all played together as a team. We really came out strong in the second half and pulled ahead. We played really well. 

What does it feel like to win a gold medal?
It’s just a huge honor to be able to win a gold medal wearing USA and playing with these girls.

Anaya Peoples (Schlarman H.S./Danville, Ill.)
On the game:
That was so exciting. We came out there with so much energy. We all knew we wanted a gold medal, and it was a matter of just going out there and fighting for it, and that’s exactly what we did. So, I’m just so proud of everybody. It’s a great feeling. 

Can you sum up the experience yet?
Starting on July 20, we’ve just been working so hard. So, it feels great to see all of our hard work pay off and be on top of the podium with the gold medal.

NaLyssa Smith (Baylor/Converse, Texas)
On the game:
I feel like we played well. We all executed well. I thought we just played together. We played for each other today. 

In the second half, we had more energy. We started scoring and kept going. I feel like our energy was great the whole game.

What does this gold medal win feel like?
It’s been great. The whole thing has just been fun. I would do it again.

Christyn Williams (Connecticut/Little Rock, Ark.)
On the game:
It was a total team effort. We played our hearts out, and we got result that we wanted. 

What does this gold medal win feel like?
It’s a huge honor. We have all worked so hard since July 20 to win, and for it to finally come true … it’s hard to explain. I’m just very happy.



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