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2019 Memorable Moments Bracket

Vote For USA Basketball's Most Memorable Moments of 2019

  • Date:
    Dec 17, 2019

USA Basketball teams saw it all in 2019 - podium sweeps, buzzer beaters, breakout performances and much more. 


But which special performance will be USA Basketball’s Moment of the Year?


You get to help decide. USA Basketball has identified 16 moments from 2019 and paired them into a bracket. 


Vote for your favorite moments of 2019. Round of 16 voting is open now until Thursday (Dec. 19), 1 p.m. EST



Reggie Hearn Hits World Cup Qualifying Winner Against Argentina vs. U.S. Open 10th Grade Final 

A corner buzzer-beating jumper from 6-foot-4 guard Reggie Hearn (Stockton Kings) lifted the USA Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team past Argentina and to an 84-83 win in Greensboro, North Carolina. The win over Argentina improved the American's record to 10-2 in FIBA World Cup Qualifying games and earned the USA a first place finish in Group E.

The USA Basketball U.S. Open Basketball Championship 10th grade boys title game was all it was anticipated to be and more. In the end, The Family 16U out of Detroit, won the championship after eking out a 91-88 double-overtime thriller over BABC. BABC outscored The Family 6-1 in the last 1:24 to tie the game 77-all and force overtime. BABC opened overtime with six straight points to push ahead 83-77, but The Family roared back to tie the score at 86 and force a second OT. The Family led 91-88 late in the second OT period and earned the title after BABC missed a game-tying 3.



USA Men Defeat Turkey in World Cup Overtime Thriller vs. Ionescu Leads Oregon to Upset Win Over USA Women’s National Team


The USA battled its way to a 93-92 overtime victory against Turkey in preliminary play at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Shanghai, China. Down 81-79 with 12.3 to go in regulation, Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics) secured an offensive rebound and found Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), who was fouled on a 3-point shot with 0.1 seconds left. Tatum made 2-of-3 free throws to tie the game and force overtime. Turkey led 92-91 late in OT but missed four consecutive free throws to leave the window open for the U.S. Tatum secured the rebound off a missed free throw, drove the floor and found Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), who was fouled on his drive to the rim with 2.1 seconds remaining. Middleton made both free throws to give the USA the 93-92 lead, and after Turkey missed a 3, the USA had the win.


The USA Women’s National Team entered its Nov. 9 exhibition game versus No. 1 ranked University of Oregon owning an all-time 43-1 record versus NCAA teams, and the Ducks rallied from 11 down midway in the second quarter to knock off the USA 93-86 in front of 11,530 fans in Eugene, Oregon. Leading the Ducks to the victory were two players with heavy USA Basketball experience. Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu (Walnut Creek, Ore.), who finished with 30 points (10-20 FGs) and seven assists, has won gold with USA national teams at the Pan Am Games 3x3, U23, U17 and U16 competitions and has also represented the United States in the 3x3 World Cup. Duck teammate Ruthy Hebard (Fairbanks, Alaska), who has represented USA Basketball at the World Beach Games 3x3, Pan Am Games 3x3, U19s, U18s and 3x3 World Cup, finished with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds. 



Cade Cunningham Slams the Door on FIBA U19 World Cup Title Game vs. Nneka Ogwumike Drops 23 at Stanford


Six-foot-seven 17-year-old Cade Cunningham (Montverde Academy, Fla./Arlington, Texas) threw down a posterizing dunk and helped lead the USA in its 93-79 gold medal victory over Mali with 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. The USA U19 men won all seven of its games at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in impressive fashion in Heraklion, Greece.


In her first game played at Stanford University since Feb. 29, 2012, Cardinal alum Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks) upped her all-time win-loss record at Maples Pavilion to a spectacular 65-0 while leading the USA National Team to a 95-80 victory over her alma mater on Nov. 2, 2019. Ogwumike led the USA with 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting and added 12 rebounds and four assists.



Skylar Diggins-Smith Leads USA Women’s National Team at Texas A&M vs. Donovan Mitchell Goes for 28 Against France


Behind 19 points and 5-of-8 3-point shooting from WNBA All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings/Notre Dame), who played in November for the USA for the first time since becoming a mom, the USA Women's National Team powered its way to a 93-63 win over Texas A&M on Nov. 7, 2019, in College Station, Texas.


NBA all-star guard Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz/Louisville) was the go-to guy for the U.S., scoring 29 points and adding six rebounds, four assists and two steals in 32 minutes of action, but it wasn’t enough as the USA lost to France 89-79 on Sept. 11 in the FIBA World Cup quarterfinals at Dongguan, China.



USA Men Win First FIBA 3x3 World Cup vs. Diana Taurasi Returns to Argentina


The USA men compiled a perfect 7-0 record and won its first FIBA 3x3 World Cup gold medal after securing a hard-fought 18-14 defensive battle over Latvia in the gold medal game in Amsterdam. The USA golden team consisted of Canyon Barry (Iowa Wolves/Florida/Colorado Springs, Colo.); Damon Huffman (Brown/Petoskey, Mich.); tournament MVP Robbie Hummel (Purdue/Valparaiso, Ind.); and Kareem Maddox (Princeton/Los Angeles, Calif.).


The USA Women’s National Team’s Pre-Olympic Qualifying game versus Argentina in Bahía Blanca, Argentina, a game the USA won 91-34, marked a special homecoming for four-time Olympic gold medalist Diana Taurasi. Taurasi’s parents immigrated to the United States from Argentina, and the family returned for a year when Taurasi was 13. She last traveled to Argentina to play for the 2000 USA U18 National Team and was appreciative of the opportunity to return for these qualifying games.



Full Court Buzzer Beater Falls at U.S. Open Championships vs. USA Takes FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup Titles


With the Old School Wings shooting two free throws with 0.8 seconds left in the third quarter of the 9th Grade Boys championship game at the U.S. Open Basketball Championships, Old School made the first free throw to cut the lead to 53-47. Missing the second free throw, BABC’s Christopher Norman grabbed the rebound and  sank a full court shot for 3-points to up BABC’s lead to 56-47.  BABC went on to earn the win and the 9th grade boys title.


The USA men's and women's  teams rolled through the 2019 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup undefeated to capture the gold medal, marking the first time a nation swept the men's and women's 3x3 World Cup titles. Both the USA men and women finished the five day event with perfect 7-0 records. Members of the gold medalist USA Men’s 3x3 U18 World Cup Team included Devin Askew (Mater Dei H.S./Los Angeles, Calif.), Nimari Burnett (Prolific Prep/Chicago, Ill.), Dawson Garcia (Prior Lake H.S./Prior Lake, Minn.) and Ethan Morton (Butler H.S./Butler, Pa.). Members of the gold medalist USA Women’s 3x3 U18 World Cup Team included Olivia Cochran (Carver H.S./Columbus, Ga.), Madison Hayes (East Hamilton H.S./Ooltewah, Tenn.), Rickea Jackson (Detroit Edison Public Academy/Detroit, Mich.) and Hailey Van Lith (Cashmere H.S./Wenatchee, Wash.). 



USA Men Under the Lights In Melbourne vs. U.S. Sweeps Pan American Games 3x3


It was a celebration of basketball in Melbourne, Australia, as more than 1000,000 fans packed Marvel Stadium to see the USA Basketball Men’s National Team take on the Australian Boomers in a pair of exhibition games. The scene was memorable as 51,218 fans witnessed the USA record a 102-86 victory in the first exhibition, then two days later, Australia knocked off the U.S. 98-94 in front of 52,079 spectators. The crowds were the two largest to ever watch a basketball game in Australia.


The U.S. men's and women's teams both captured gold, making it a sweep for the USA in the Pan American Games 3x3 basketball competition. It was a perfect 7-0 showing by the U.S. Women’s 3x3 Team that was comprised of Ruthy Hebard (Oregon/Fairbanks, Alaska), Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon/Walnut Creek, Ore.), Olivia Nelson-Ododa(Connecticut/Winder, Ga.) and Christyn Williams (Connecticut/Little Rock, Ark.). The U.S. men (4-3) saved their best showings of the competition for the final day and in the process staked claim on the first Pan American Games 3x3 gold medal after defeating Brazil 21-12 in the semifinals and Puerto Rico 21-19 in the gold medal game. The USA roster featured Sheldon Jeter (Maine Red Claws/Beaver Falls, Pa.), Dominique Jones (Fort Hays State/Harlem, N.Y.), Kareem Maddox (Princeton/Los Angeles, Calif.) and Jon Octeus (Windy City Bulls/Miami, Fla.).



USA U19 Women Come Back to Win Gold vs. Cole Anthony Scores 23 at Nike Hoop Summit


The USA gritted out an improbable 74-70 overtime victory to claim gold at the FIBA U19 World Cup in Bangkok, Thailand. With Australia owning a 66-63 lead and in possession of the ball on its offensive endwith just 14 seconds remaining, a USA victory looked extremely unlikely. Australia's Isobel Anstey was called for an unsportsmanlike foul after elbowing USA guard Rhyne Howard (Kentucky/Cleveland, Tenn.) while attempting to protect the ball. Caitlin Clark (Dowling Catholic H.S./West Des Moines, Iowa) made one of the two ensuing free throws to reduce Australia's lead to 66-64. Receiving the ball out-of-bounds, the USA’s Hailey Van Lith (Cashmere H.S./Wenatchee, Wash.) made a back-door cut to the basket and Paige Bueckers (Hopkins H.S./St. Louis Park, Minn.) lofted a pass to her for the game-tying basket with 12.5 seconds to play. The USA went on to outscore Australia 8-4 in overtime to claim the win and the gold medal.


In the 22nd edition of the Nike Hoop Summit, an annual basketball game that pits top U.S. high school senior boys against a World Select Team comprised of elite international players who are 19 years old or younger, 6-foot-3 guard Cole Anthony (Oak Hill Academy, Va./New York, N.Y.) helped lead USA Basketball to a 93-87 win over the World Select Team. Anthony finished with a U.S.-best 25 points and added eight rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes of action.


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