USA 3x3 Men’s & Women’s National Teams Wrap Up Big Twelve International
The USA 3x3 Women’s National Team won the Big Twelve International Tournament title on Sunday in Voiron, France, while the USA 3x3 Men’s National Team finished in second place, as both teams look forward to the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings/South Carolina/Sandersville, Ga.) was MVP of the women’s tournament, and Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky/Connecticut/Port Jervis, N.Y.) was named to the all-tournament team.
"I was surprised," Gray admitted of the MVP honor. "I pretty much played within myself. I was aggressive the whole game. I think I played defense really well this tournament, too, so I feel like I brought an overall presence.”
On the men’s side, Robbie Hummel (Purdue/Valparaiso, Ind.) and Dominique Jones (Fort Hays State/Harlem, N.Y.) were named all-tournament.
“I think we had a good time and played really hard, and that was the real objective, was to learn each other, see how we adapt to certain situations,” Jones said. “So, I think that was good for us going forward.
The U.S. teams now depart for Graz, Austria, where the FIBA 3x3 OQT will be played from May 26-30. A total of 20 men’s and 20 women’s teams will take part, and Olympic berths will be awarded to the top three finishing men’s and women’s teams.
“It helped us a lot,” Jones. “It was another chance to compete. We got to see a lot of good things, and today we had some adversity that we had to fight through. I look forward to another opportunity in Austria.”
The USA men did not get is offense going against Serbia in the Finals, recording a 21-9 loss. Serbia is the No. 1 FIBA 3x3 ranked men’s federation, and the Serbian men are qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The USA trailed 6-3 at 7:47 in the game, and a 12-0 Spurt from Serbia put the USA behind 18-3, a deficit from which it did not recover. Joey King (Minnesota/Eagan, Minn.) added four points in the USA’s game, while Kareem Maddox (Princeton/Los Angeles, Calif.) also suited up for the USA.
The USA women kicked off against Russia in the semifinals and earned a 14-12 victory. The score was tied a 1-1 when the USA made its first run, 6-0, to go ahead 7-1 at 5:37. Russia used a string of three 2-pointers to climb back to within one point, 11-10, at 1:35, but Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces/Washington/Poway, Calif.) answered with a 2, and the USA held on for the 14-12 win.
In the finals against France B, the USA battled its way to a 20-19 victory. The USA started strong and went ahead 14-8, but France B sank two 2-pointers to keep the game close at the end. Dolson had nine points, Gray added five and Katie Lou Samuelson (Seattle Storm/Connecticut/Huntington Beach, Calif.) added four.
"We were able to come together and finish this tournament as champions," Gray said of the USA team. "That was the goal. With every tournament that we play, the plan is to win.
"We got to get all our kinks out and learn each other, and build even more chemistry leading into the Qualifying Tournament."