2018 Youth Olympic Games 3x3 Basketball Action Opens Sunday
The Youth Olympic Games 3x3 basketball competition gets underway Sunday for the men, and the USA will open preliminary play facing Russia at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) and Mongolia at 10:30 a.m. (EDT). The men will complete preliminary round play Thursday, Oct. 11, going against Estonia at 10:30 a.m. (EDT) and Argentina at 1:30 p.m. (EDT).
The women’s basketball competition at the Youth Olympic Games begins Sunday, however, the U.S. women won’t take the court until Monday when they go against Venezuela at 9 a.m. (EDT) and Sri Lanka at 11:30 a.m. (EDT). Then on Friday, Oct. 12, they finish off their preliminary play versus Egypt at 9:30 a.m. (EDT) and Ukraine at 11:30 a.m. (EDT).
All of the games will be viewable at https://www.youtube.com/olympics.
The Youth Olympic Games basketball competition features 20 men’s and 20 women’s teams. The national squads have been placed into four preliminary round groups, which consist of five teams each. The top two finishers from each preliminary round group advance to the Oct. 16 medal round quarterfinals, and the quarterfinals winners will advance to the semifinals that are being held Oct. 17. The gold and bronze medal game will be held on Oct. 17.
Selected by the USA Basketball 3x3 Junior National Team Selection Committee, athletes named to the USA Youth Olympic Games teams must be U.S. citizens who are 18 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 2000).
Representing the United States men are: 17-year-old Dudley Blackwell (Westminster Academy/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.); 16-year-old Jyare Davis (Sanford School/Hockessin, Del.); 18-year-old Patrick McCaffery (West H.S./Iowa City, Iowa); and 16-year-old Carson McCorkle (Greensboro Day School/Greensboro, N.C.).
“I think it’s so cool that basketball can take me outside the country,” said USA men's team member Davis. “A lot of people can’t say they’ve done something like this before. So, I’m really honored to be a part of it. I’m looking forward to winning some games while we’re down there and hopefully bringing back the gold medal.”
Named to the 2018 U.S. Youth Olympic Women’s Basketball Team are: 16-year-old Aliyah Boston (Worcester Academy/St. Thomas, USVI); 17-year-old Samantha Brunelle (William Monroe H.S./Ruckersville, Va.); 16-year-old Paige Bueckers (Hopkins H.S./Eden Prairie, Minn.); and 17-year-old Hailey Van Lith (Cashmere High School/Wenatchee, Wash.)."I can’t believe I’m saying the word ‘Olympic,’” said Van Lith. “The opportunity to represent USA one more time and have the chance to win a gold medal with my teammates is incredible.”
In addition to their recent USA Basketball 3x3 experience, all four athletes on the women’s team and all four on the men’s team have participated in at least one USA Basketball camp.
All four women were part of this summer’s 2018 USA Women’s U17 World Cup Team that captured gold in Belarus. Additionally, Boston, Brunelle and Bueckers were members of the 2017 USA Women’s U16 National Team gold medalist squad, while Brunelle also captured a bronze medal at the 2016 FIBA U17 World Cup.
On the men’s team, Blackwell and Davis are two-time USA Basketball Junior National Team October minicamp participants and also took part in the 2017 USA U16 National Team camp; McCaffery was selected by USA Basketball to participate in the 2018 NCAA Next Generation event last April; while McCorkle participated in the 2016 USA Junior National Team October minicamp.
A multi-sport event, the Summer Youth Olympic Games are being held Oct. 6-18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the basketball competition will be played under FIBA 3x3 rules. It is anticipated that the 2018 Youth Olympic Games will have representation from 206 different countries in 28 sports, including 3x3 basketball.
The basketball competition at the Youth Olympic Games is organized by the IOC and FIBA. The 2018 Games will include 20 men’s teams and 20 women’s teams, as well as a dunk contest for men and a shoot-out contest for women.
The USA women have competed in both prior editions of the Summer Youth Olympic Games and own a 19-1 record overall, and have captured gold at in 2014 and bronze in 2010. Briyona Canty, Andraya Carter, Amber Henson and Kiah Stokes teamed up on the 2010 squad, while the 2014 USA team was comprised of De’Janae Boykin, Napheesa Collier, Arike Ogunbowale and Katie Lou Samuelson.
The USA men competed in the 2010 Summer Youth Olympic Games and finished in fourth place with a 5-2 record. That team was comprised of K.C. Caudill, Angelo Chol, Sterling Gibbs and Brandan Kearney. The USA did not qualify a men’s team for the 2014 YOG.
“It’s an honor,” said men's team member Blackwell. “Not everybody gets a chance to represent their country. Only a few people get that chance. To be honest, I’ve got to take every bit of it and enjoy it.”
Follow along with the USA Basketball Men's and Women's Youth Olympic Games teams at USAB.com and on USA Basketball's social media channels.