Quotes: U.S. Olympic 3x3 Team July 28
Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky/Connecticut/Port Jervis, N.Y.)
Do you think it was defense that made the difference against France?
It was definitely our defense. We had some shots that didn't go in, some free throws that we missed. So it was our defense that kind of kept us in the game and then, ultimately, won it for us.
On 3x3 basketball:
I was excited. I’ve played five-on-five my whole life. So it was going to be something new, something different, and that's exactly what it is, and I ended up just loving it. It's just a different game, and it's really fast paced and fun.
What did you think of the physicality of Russian Olympic Committee?
They were really strong. I mean, we knew going into it that Russia was one of the strongest, physically, teams here. They battled. They doubled. But thankfully, my teammates were able to make a lot of plays. We got them in foul trouble early. But the physicality of 3x3 in general is just unlike any other game, but it kind of makes it fun.
Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings/South Carolina/Sandersville, Ga.)
First gold for 3x3 to Team USA. How does it feel?
I mean, it’s great. I said before I didn't come all the way here to win nothing less than a gold medal. So, I’m glad we were able to finish what we came out here to accomplish.
On the gold medal game against Russian Olympic Committee:
Since day one, it was tough competition. I mean, you couldn't overlook anybody. Every team was great. I mean, they're (ROC) not the same team, even though you beat them the first time. They're a completely different team the second time. Overall, congrats to Russia as well. They are a great team. I'm just glad we were able to execute the game plan and come out with a victory.
How do you compare the differences between 3x3 and five-on-five and will you keep doing it?
3x3 is actually very fun. This is my first time doing it. So, just the experience has been great. 3x3, it just allows you to kind of let your hair down and kind of just play and have fun. So, I enjoyed every bit of 3x3.
Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces/Washington/Poway, Calif.)
On winning her first gold medal:
It just feels so special. I didn’t think this was going to happen. I thought for me personally this was out of the cards, because of my Achilles, and then COVID.
To come back after your injury, was this on your radar?
It was absolutely on my radar. It was a gold medal, WNBA Championship, Sixth Woman of the Year, in that order. That was my goals, and one down two to go.
This gold medal was on your radar?
Absolutely. I don't think you can accomplish things like this, in the time frame I had – I mean, it was less than a year – if you're not very specific on what you want.
Jackie Young (Las Vegas Aces/Notre Dame/Princeton, Ind.)
What did it take to beat France?
It took everything – getting defensive stops and executing on offensive end. We missed some free throws at the end, down the stretch, but we got them in the bonus kind of early, so that worked on our side. So, we at least hit one out of the two free throws. But I think the biggest thing was just getting stops on defense.
Is 3x3 more physical, or is the physicality just more obvious in 3x3?
I think it’s more apparent, because there's only six players on the court at a time, so you see it more. And they don't call as many fouls, I guess. We know that playing the game internationally that it's more physical and so with 3x3 it’s more physical … Definitely a lot of contact throughout the game, and they let you just play a little bit more.
How much 3x3 have you played?
So, I played in 2019, and then I did some training camps 2020. But other than that, I haven't played in over a year.
On when she got the call to join the team:
I was on vacation, and I got the call late Saturday night from Jay (Demings, USA Basketball Youth & Sport Development director). I didn't know if I was going to be on the team but knew that there was a chance, and so I just had to go. I flew out to Vegas the next morning, got tested, started the whole protocol, that stuff, and that's how it worked out. And then I flew out to Tokyo.