USA Basketball U19 team earns silver medal

Credit: USA Basketball
Credit: USA Basketball /

The USA Basketball team went undefeated in the 2017 U19 world championships but fell to Russia 86-82 in the gold medal game.  The teams exchanged leads 24 times in the contest.  USA Basketball led by as many as eight points, while Russia led by as many as six points.

“I thought, in the first half, we were hitting our shots, we were executing and scoring and defending,” commented head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio. “Then, we got in some foul trouble with Ruthy (Hebard), and I think that hurt us, because she has been so solid at both ends of the floor for us throughout this tournament.” Hebard (Univerity of Oregon/Fairbanks, Alaska) was limited to four points in twenty minutes.

“They played until the last buzzer went off. It was kind of like 2015, just going back and forth, but it was just a different outcome,” reflected Crystal Dangerfield (Connecticut/Murfreesboro, Tenn.), a member of the 2015 U19 World Cup team that defeated Russia for gold. The guard tallied 19 points and three steals for the 2017 finale.

2017 All-FIBA U19 World Cup Team

Two players from each team in the goal medal match were named to the All-FIBA team. Chennedy Carter (Timberview H.S./Mansfield, Texas) scored a USA U19 single-game record 31 points for the USA. The previous record was 30 points, set by A’ja Wilson in the 2015 FIBA U19 World Cup gold medal game against Russia. Tyasha Harris (South Carolina/Noblesville, Ind.) had nine points and nine assists.

Russian forward Raisa Musina posted a whopping 33 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists for Russia. Russian center Maria Vadeev added 26 points and 18 rebounds and was named a tournament MVP.

USA Basketball picked up its first silver medal to accompany the programs seven gold medals and one bronze medal. Canada earned its first medal in the event after defeating Japan 67-60 in the bronze medal game. Laeticia Amihere represented Canada on the All-FIBA U19 team.