Quotes: U.S. Olympic 3x3 Team July 26
Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky/Connecticut/Port Jervis, N.Y.)
What did it take to beat China?
We knew it was going to be a battle. They were physical, probably the most physical team we played. But we were able to just keep playing our game, keep battling and made big shots, like Kelsey made that big shot at the end.
Is the game plan for every game to try and wear teams down?
I think we try to keep our pace high, so that at the end hopefully teams wear down and we can keep going. China didn't wear down much, but we were still able to get the win.
Six games down. How are you feeling? How do you think the team is feeling?
I think we feel good. That was a really big game for us. Every game we've learned something about our team. We're building more chemistry with Jackie. So, we're still going up. We're still getting better, which is dangerous for other teams.
Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings/South Carolina/Sandersville, Ga.)
Is the feeling about this sport at the Olympics pretty much the same game that you would play at other venues, or other tournaments?
There’s a lot of differentials between traditional five-on-five and 3x3. I mean, it's a lot of things you have to adjust to – like playing outside, the humidity, wind, cardio, like it’s real physical. You can get away with a lot more. Well, you don't get as many fouls called as in five-on-five. I just think 3x3 is a great addition to the Olympics because it gives people a different view of another game of basketball.
What was going through your head when you stepped to the line and made those free throws that gave you a four-point cushion (versus Italy) at the end?
Just knowing that we needed them. You look at the score, if they were to make a 2, it would be a tie ball game. So, the biggest thing with me is just to focus in and make my free throws.
Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces/Washington/Poway, Calif.)
On taking the shot that secured the win:
I thought, why the hell not? I pride myself on being ready when my number is called and trying to make some plays.
On China's team:
They played really super physical. For us, it is tough. This is a hard tournament and you do not have an easy game. There is no rest. I thought we battled through things and there were no mistakes. And they hit some big shots, so credit to them for putting up a good fight.
On adjusting to not having the lead throughout the game:
I like how everybody talks about that. We are humans. They play basketball, too. They practice, too.
I think a lot of players would rather play five-on-five, because as you grow up, that’s what you know. When you get that call, do you say, ‘hey, I want to try out for the full national team?’ Are you cool with this?
I definitely tried out for both. I think that, obviously, you're in the national team pool, right? So, that qualifies you for five-on-five as well as 3x3. But for me, this was an opportunity, right? I would not pass this up given the opportunity.
What do you think you're better at? Five-on-five and 3x3 are really different games, and you seem like you take to this really well?
I don't really know. I don't really focus on that. I'm just trying to focus on winning.
After you tore your Achilles (playing pick-up 3x3), how do you get over that mental hurdle?
I just think that for me, I've done my rehab. I've put in the time, and so I have to just trust my process and know that my body is ready, and it can handle it.
Jackie Young (Las Vegas Aces/Notre Dame/Princeton, Ind.)
On whether her undefeated team can improve its effort:
Against Italy, we were not executing well, especially on defense. We have a few things to clean up for our next game. We know what we did wrong and can build off it for the next game. We are just taking it one game at a time. I am not looking too far ahead. It is just playing our game and not letting anything rattle us.