Quotes: USA 83, France 81
USA head coach Jamie Dixon (TCU)
How proud are you of these guys?
We battled. We were worn down, but we battled down the stretch and found a way, so I am proud of them. That is a really good France team that responded, competed and played well together. They (France) are obviously very talented and well coached and have been together a long time to my understanding, but glad we were able to pull it off.
What was the key as you guys were clawing to try and get the lead back?
Defensively we got the stops, so that's what helped us, and on offense we tried to go down low to Kenny (Lofton Jr.) We didn't handle the pressure well, they were really aggressive and really physical on balls screens, drives and denials and we didn't handle it well. But, really our defense got it done down the stretch, we took away the three and kept them off the foul line.
How important is the team aspect for a USA squad with having a bunch of individual talents?
It’s going to take different guys, you’ve got seven games and a couple scrimmages. It is such a battle, it’s such a grind and people have no idea what you’re going through prior to. So just trying to keep them ready, keep them focused and we kept continuing to talk about we rather than me, USA and those three letters and it is really a challenge. To complete a team atmosphere, teamwork and being unselfish, it is hard to do in three weeks.
What was it like to work with coach Jones and coach Haase?
It's a grind, there's no question but there's a lot of joy in it. Coach Jones and Coach Haase, the time they put in, the scouts they did, the coaching, the substituting, they were tremendous.
Jaden Ivey (Purdue/Mishawaka, Ind.)
What does it feel like to be up there with the national anthem playing fresh off of a gold medal win?
There is so much pride, we put a lot of work into this. We came together as a team and we conquered. I am just so thankful to be a part of this team and it’s just a great feeling to win some hardware and that we get to represent our country. We are some of the best players in the world, so I am just thankful and it’s just a blessing
What were you telling each other on the court as that fourth quarter run was happening?
When we play our game, no one can stop us. We just came out and performed and played to the best of our abilities and we just cherished every moment together and we’re going to have fun with this one.
What does this experience do for you as you go back to Purdue and your career progresses?
This is obviously a boost for me just playing against this competition. I’ve been working hard my whole life for this moment. I’m just so thankful for the people that helped put me in this position, but I take credit for all my hard work. I am just a kid from South Bend, Indiana, I put this jersey on with pride and represent my family and my city.
Chet Holmgren (Minnehaha Academy/Minneapolis, Minn.).
Gold medal in hand, how does it feel?
I couldn’t be happier for everybody on the team, we came together, and we had a lot of guys perform to get here. It wasn’t a one or two guy thing, it was the whole team and we needed everybody to get here.
What were you saying on the court as you tried to get the lead back?
We were staying together, we didn’t want to let any adversity pull us apart. We went through everything in the last three weeks to get here and we all knew we weren’t leaving without the gold. It was just a matter of what we had to do to make that happen. In the fourth quarter we made the adjustments and came out on top.
What have you enjoyed most about this experience with USA Basketball?
I’ve enjoyed the guys on the team, the coaches, they are all great people. Playing basketball with them and forming friendships and relationships that will last a long time and these are my people forever now.
Where does this gold medal win stack up in your basketball accomplishments?
This is right there at the top. I don’t know how much better it can get at this stage in my career. Hopefully a lot more things to do going forward but this is definitely up there at the top.