FIBA Men's 3X3 U18 World Cup Gold Medal Game Quotes
(Mater Dei H.S./Los Angeles, Calif.)
(Prolific Prep/Chicago, Ill.),
On winning gold:
“I feel great about it. This group of guys, me, Devin, Dawson and Ethan – great group of guys, unselfish, very smart guys and very talented. I’m glad to be a part of that history with those guys.”
On the team’s strength:
“Our will to win – I had that in my head as I went to sleep every night. I was like, ‘I don’t think any team here can beat us, because we all have a will to win. Once you have that, as well as talent and heart, you can win any game.
On the dunk contest:
“Just do my best in both competitions, the gold medal game and the dunk contest. Although I came out with the silver medal in the dunk contest, I feel like I did a good job. I could have done a different dunk the last dunk to get a better score, but the silver medal is actually a nice medal, so I’m glad to have both silver and gold.”
(Prior Lake H.S./Prior Lake, Minn.)
On being named MVP:
“I couldn’t have done it without the supporting cast I had on my team and the great support from the coaches. It is just a great experience, and I’m very blessed to be in this position.”
What was the key to the USA’s perserverance?
“We just had to stay really reslient, and this is a very resilient group that we have. We have a lot of leaders on this team that kept us together. And it was just a dog fight, it was all heart at the end of those games. We were very fortunate to come out on top.”
On winning gold
“It is a feeling that I’ve never felt before. Playing with USA across your chest, there is not really a better feeling than that when you are hearing your anthem. And we had the girls win, too, so that made it even more special.”
(Butler H.S./Butler, Pa.)
On winning the gold medal:
“It was indescribable really, from what we talked about during training camp and just throughout the tournament, grinding away in every single game. Everyone has won stuff before, but when you win something representing your whole country, and you win a gold medal, and the whole United States is behind you, it something I still can’t even really fathom. Just an incredible moment for all of us, just awesome.”
How did the team stay composed?
“I think we got a sense after the first game, that every game was going to be a dog fight, kind of grind it out possession after possession, which is tough in a game when it is so quick and there is so much turnaround, it is a different kind of grind it out. So for us to adjust and find different ways to win, I think honestly this might have been probably the worst we played out of the three days. Obviously, the teams were better, but for us to find different ways to win, believe in one another, make big-time plays. Nimari’s 2-pointer that he got fouled on was huge. Dawson making the game-winner in overtime. Devin played great throughout, shooting the ball attacking. Everyone had a big part, and I think that was the biggest thing – we all came together.”
On both U.S. teams winning gold:
“It was another crazy moment. To get to celebrate together with the people that you’ve become really close with the past couple of weeks, built really great relationships with. Seeing the hard work that they put in and them seeing the hard work we put in, just giving support as a group and really bonding together. Just to get to celebrate that with them was just an awesome moment that I will never forget.”