Eight Athletes Named To 2012 USA Basketball U18 3x3 Men’s And Women’s National Teams
Colorado Springs, Colo. • July 31, 2012
Four men’s players and four women’s players were named to the 2012 USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Teams and will represent the USA at the FIBA U18 3x3 World Championship as the 2012 USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Team Training Camp/Tournament concluded at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) on Tuesday.
The U.S. men’s team consists of Larry Austin (Lanphier H.S./Springfield, Ill.), Brett Brady (Highlands Ranch H.S./Highlands Ranch, Colo.), DeMonte Flannigan (Villa Angela-St. Joseph H.S.) and Rondae Jefferson (Chester H.S./Chester, Pa.), while the USA women’s squad comprises Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S./Norcross, Ga.), Allisha Gray (Washington County H.S./Sandersville, Ga.), Erica McCall (Ridgeview H.S./Bakersfield, Calif.) and Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S./Pearland, Texas). The members of the men’s and women’s 2012 USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Teams will represent the U.S. at the FIBA U18 3x3 World Championship played September 27 – 30 in Seville, Spain. Prior to departing for Seville, the men’s and women’s teams will reconvene at the USOTC for a training camp from Sept. 21 – 24.
Austin, Flannigan and Jefferson, playing for Team Bulldogs, won the men’s tournament with an 8-0 record and were later selected as three members of the U18 3x3 National Team. Brady competed for Team TCI at the tournament and will join the other three as the fourth member of the squad.
“I thought the Bulldogs got better as the tournament went on. They started to figure out what they have to do in a 3x3 setting as compared to a 5-on-5 setting, and I felt they played really well in the gold medal game,” said Don Showalter, USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Team Committee member. “I think (Brady) is going to be a good fit for the other three because he can hit the outside shot, he’s a good 3-point shooter and he can make plays. In 3x3 you want guys that can make plays and he showed that all weekend.”
Team Bulldogs defeated Team High Altitude 21-10 in the gold medal game to win the 2012 USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Team Tournament as both teams came into the championship game with identical 7-0 records. In the bronze medal game, Team Ktownhoopsquad defeated Team New Mexico Rain by a score of 21-15.
“I’ve worked hard and it feels good to get a chance to go out there and play for the USA,” said Brady of being able to represent the USA. “It’s a big deal and something you always wish to do in your life.”
Austin, Flannigan and Jefferson are all members of the 2011-12 USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team and attended training camp at the USOTC earlier this summer, but were ultimately not named to the 2012 USA U17 World Championship Team that won gold at the FIBA U17 World Championship, held June 29 – July 8 in Kaunas, Lithuania.
“It’s a blessing to be able to play for this team,” said Austin. “I came out to try out for the U17 team and didn’t make it, but I’m back here with the 3x3 team and playing with a good group of guys so I think it should be a lot of fun.”
Jefferson was a member of the 2011 USA Basketball 3x3 Youth World Championship Men’s Team that went 7-5 in posting an eighth place finish at the inaugural FIBA 3x3 Youth World Championship, an event now billed as the FIBA U18 3x3 World Championship in which Jefferson will compete once more. Austin was a member of the 2011 USA FIBA Americas U16 Championship Team that won gold in Cancun, Mexico.
The four players named to the USA U18 3x3 National Women’s Team participated in a training camp over the last three days as there was no women’s tournament. The foursome participated in several practices over the past three days to become more familiar with the 3x3 game.
“The women’s U18 3x3 team started off training camp a little slow having not played this game as a team, but as training camp continued they began to mesh and it now looks like a strong team to go to Spain and compete at the top level,” said USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Team Committee member Travis Johnson.
The four players on the women’s team all possess prior USA Basketball experience. DeShields has won two gold medals with USA Basketball, as a member of the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship Team and 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship Team. McCall won gold for the USA at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. DeShields, McCall and Turner will remain in Colorado Springs to participate in training camp for the USA Women’s U17 National Team (Aug. 1-8), and Gray to participate in training camp for the U18 National Team (Aug. 3-11). The FIBA U18 3x3 World Championship will be the highest level at which any of them has played 3x3 basketball, however.
“It’s definitely difficult,” DeShields said about picking up the intricacies of the 3x3 game. “It’s faster, there’s a 12-second shot clock and it’s a thinking game. You don’t have a coach out there, you have to coach yourself. There are a lot more different rules and aspects of the game that you have to get adjusted to. It’s a thinking game and whoever is most strategic will win.”
In 2011, the USA Women’s 3x3 Youth World Championship Team, after losing two of its four players to injuries, finished fourth with a 7-2 record but was awarded an honorary bronze medal after forfeiting the bronze medal game because it did not have three healthy players as required by the rules.
Johnson and Showalter served as the 2012 USA Basketball U18 3x3 National Team Committee. Athletes eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1994.