SAO SEBASTIAO DO PARAISO (2013 FIBA U19 World Championship) – The United States will enter the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship as FIBA Americas U18 champions after beating hosts Brazil
81-56 on their way to capture a sixth continental gold medal in that age category.
Both teams along with bronze medal winners Canada and fourth-placed Argentina have booked their spots as the Americas’ representatives at the 2013 U19 Worlds that will take place in Prague, Czech Republic.
Julius Randle collected 18 points and 12 rebounds in the Final as the USA added another gold to their tally of U18/Junior titles from 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010.
Jarnell Stokes added 11 points and Marcus Smart chipped in with 10 for Billy Donovan’s team that finished the tournament with a perfect 5-0 mark.
“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,” said Donovan, the head coach of the Florida Gators, winners of two NCAA championships (2006, 2007).
“I was just really proud of the way they sacrificed for one another, they sacrificed for our country and they really wanted to win.”
USA star Shaq Goodwin was impressed with how he and his teammates put their egos aside and came together to accomplish a goal.
“I feel like we’re the Dream Team (laughing), because if you think about it, we were winning by 50 points,” said Goodwin.
“We had 12 superstars and somehow we managed to win the gold. You know with a team full of superstars everybody has to push their ego aside to win the gold and that’s what we all did.”
Three players – Arthur Fernandes Da Silva, Lucas Dias Silva and Leonardo Demetrio – scored 11 points for Brazil, who lost in a re-match of the 2010 U18 Americas Final, which the USA had won 83-64.
Xavier Rathan collected 16 points and eight rebounds and 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship bronze medalist Andrew Wiggins had 14 points and 11 rebounds as Canada came in third at the event for the third year in a row with a 68-66 win over Argentina.
It’s the fourth consecutive time that Canada qualified for the U19 Worlds.
The 2008 U18 champions and four-time runners-up Argentina got 23 points from Gabriel Deck, who will play for the South Americans at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship later this month.
The 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship will take place from 27 June to 7 July 2013 in the Czech Republic capital of Prague.