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United States comes back to win FIBA Americas U16 gold medal


Entering Sunday’s FIBA Americas U16 gold medal match with Canada the United States had never lost a game in the brief history of the event, going 19-0 with the majority of those wins being by comfortable margins. But they were definitely challenged by a Canadian squad led by the tournament’s top rebounder in 2018 forward Simi Shittu, as Canada led 19-3 at the end of the first quarter with the Americans shooting 1-for-17 from the field.

The United States trailed by as much as 20 (23-3) before turning things around, with 2017 prospects Wendell Carter Jr., Gary Trent Jr. and Jarred Vanderbilt leading the way. They eventually took their first lead of the game in the third quarter, grabbing control of the game in the final six minutes and winning by the final score of 77-60.

However the final margin, coming as a result of the United States closing the game on a 28-5 run, is not a true indicator of how tough the game was.

Shittu led Canada with 18 points and 14 rebounds, with Rowan Barrett Jr. adding 13, and early on they managed to limit the easy looks the United States was able to find against lesser competition. But Vanderbilt (19 points, ten rebounds) served as the catalyst in the second quarter, with Trent Jr. (19 points, six rebounds) and Carter stepping forward in the second stanza.

Both teams struggled with turnovers, combining for 49, but the United States was able to get better looks in the second half and ultimately finished with 46 points in the paint to Canada’s 30.

USA U16 team goes 3-0 in pool play at FIBA Americas, rolls to semifinals

(Markus Howard/USA Basketball)
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USA Basketball’s U16 team started 3-0 in pool play at FIBA Americas this week in Argentina. The Americans average was of victory was above 51 points per contest as the depth, athleticism and skill of the group was too overwhelming for Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Brazil.

Since the USA group is so deep, other teams often stay somewhat close for a quarter before a second-quarter surge pushes the Americans to a huge halftime lead.

The team set a record for 3-pointers made in a single game at the event by going 19-for-44 (43 percent) in a win over the Dominican Republic, led by Class of 2017 guard Gary Trent Jr.’s seven 3-pointers and 25 points.

Class of 2017 big man Wendell Carter went for 21 points and 11 rebounds while Class of 2018 forward Jalen Hill had 14 points and 12 rebounds in the win over Brazil to push the team into the semifinals. In the opening game, Class of 2017 guard Markus Howard went for 19 points on 62 percent shooting.

USA has already qualified for the U17 FIBA World Championships by placing in the top four for this years FIBA Americas. The Americans now will play host Argentina (2-1) at 7:30 p.m. EDT on June 13 for a right to play in the title game on June 14.

Top dunks from USA Basketball’s U18 team at FIBA Americas (VIDEO)

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The USA Basketball U18 team national team ran through the FIBA Americas U18 Championship field this past week, capping off the tournament with a 113-79 win over Canada in the gold medal game at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

USA Basketball all five games by at least 34 points.

MORE: USA Basketball wins FIBA gold | U.S. clinches spot in U19 World Championships in 2015

Stanley Johnson, the Arizona signee, wound up winning MVP honors while winning his third gold medal as part of Team USA. He and Duke-bound Justise Winslow dominated opposing perimeters, using their size and speed to come away with steal after steal in USA’s full-court press, which led to plenty of breakaway dunks.

With play-making guards like Tyus Jones, Winslow’s future teammate, and Jalen Brunson, a five-star point guard in the Class of 2015, big men like Stephen Zimmerman and Texas-commit Myles Turner also threw down some international posterizations. Allonzo Trier, Chase Jeter, Isaiah Briscoe and Jaylen Brown are also included in the two-minute mixtape.

This was the third consecutive FIBA Americas U18 Championship won by USA Basketball.

Canada U18 team goes undefeated in FIBA Americas preliminary round

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For the third day in a row, the Canadian U18 national team walked away with a double-digit victory at the FIBA Americas U18 Championships in Colorado Springs.

On Sunday, Canada knocked off Puerto Rico, 91-70. That gives Canada a 3-0 record (other two wins against Brazil and the Dominican Republic) in Group A preliminary play.

While USA Basketball U18 team is loaded from top to bottom with highly-touted recruits, Canada has also displayed its up-and-coming talent this week in Colorado.

Findlay Prep (Nevada) three-star 2015 small forward Dillon Brooks poured in a game-high 26 points. Harvard-bound Chris Egi stuffed the stat sheet on Sunday afternoon with a 20-point, 14-rebound, 4-block effort. Huntington Prep (West Virginia) wing, struggled against Puerto Rico, shooting 3-of-12 for nine points, but the No. 22 overall recruit in the Class of 2015, according to Rivals, is the second leading scorer in the entire tournament, behind Brooks.


Canada advances to the FIBA Americas semifinals, playing either the U.S. or Argentina on Monday. That game is set for a 5:15 p.m. EDT start.

USA U18 team dominates Uruguay 156-58 in FIBA Americas opener (VIDEO)

Luke Kennard
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The USA U18 team opened up play at the FIBA Americas tournament in Colorado Springs on Friday night with a 156-58 drubbing of Uruguay as 10 different players finished in double-figures.

After jumping out to a 44-15 lead after the first quarter, USA kept building the lead from there as they overpowered a helpless Uruguay squad thanks to its depth, athleticism and a very disruptive 1-2-1-1 full-court press.

Duke commit Luke Kennard, a member of the 2015 class, finished with a team-high 30 points in only 22 minutes of play while also adding four assists and four steals. Another future Blue Devil, Justise Winslow, finished with 15 points on the night and class of 2015 point guard Jalen Brunson had the United States’ only double-double with 11 points and 13 assists.

Texas commit Myles Turner added 14 points and eight rebounds for Team USA and class of 2015 members, guard Allonzo Trier and forward Chase Jeter, each added 14 points of their own.

You can see the complete Team USA box score below. The next game for USA is tomorrow night in more pool play action against Mexico at 7:30 p.m. EST.

(USA Basketball)

Julius Randle’s double-double leads USA Basketball U-18 to win gold at FIBA Americas

Julius Randle
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The United States came into the tournament as favorites and left as champions.

Facing little resistance throughout the tournament, the USA Basketball U18 team took care of Brazil, 81-56, in the title game to win gold at the 2012 FIBA Americas.

“I told our guys after that they’re the ones that made it all possible,” said USA head coach Billy Donovan in a release. “There was a lot of sacrifice. We had a lot of good players and I think they all understood that they all could probably score more, they all could probably do more, but maybe it wouldn’t be the best thing for our team.

“I was just really proud of the way they sacrificed for one another, they sacrificed for our country and they really wanted to win.”

Uncommitted 2013 prospect Julius Randle led the way for the United States in the championship game, scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the victory.

“I just wanted to lock in and bring energy to the team, bring leadership to the team, and in the second half I just really wanted to focus in and be aggressive on both ends and on the defensive and offensive glass,” Randle said.

In the tournament, the US team averaged 97.2 points per game, with an average margin of victory of 38.6 points.

By finishing in the top four this year, the United States earns an invitation to the U19 championship in 2013, along with Brazil, Canada, and Argentina.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_