USA won a historic double at the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup 2019 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on June 3-7, 2019.
No team has previously won this competition with both men and women in the same edition.
The success in the women’s category did not come as a surprise as the US national team had won the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup in 2012, 2013 and 2017.
Led by tournament MVP Hailey Van Lith and Team of the Tournament member Rickea Jackson, USA were undefeated in Mongolia. Their biggest challenge came in the final, a hard-fought 19-13 victory against New Zealand, who starred the last member of the Team of the Tournament, joint-top scorer Charlisse Leger-Walker. France took home the bronze medal by defeating China (15-13) in the third-place game.
USA had never won gold in the men’s category at a FIBA 3×3 World Cup, regardless of the age category (senior, U23, U18). After winning all their pool games before the limit, they survived 3 consecutive scares, including an 18-17 thriller in the semi-finals against Russia and a 16-12 nail-biter in the final against Turkey. The tournament joint-top scorer Dawson Garcia was named MVP of the tournament and was joined on the Team of the Tournament by the other scoring leader, Argentina rising star Mateo Diaz and Turkey’s Cagatay Özkan.
USA added 1 more medal, this time silver in the dunk contest thanks to Nimari Burnett. For their first participation in a FIBA 3×3 World Cup event, the Dominican Republic won gold via Fuhit Edouard. Aliaksei Navoichyk struck bronze for Belarus.
In the skills contest dedicated to women, Veronika Kosmach took home the gold medal for Ukraine. Russia’s Yana Velikanova collected silver while New Zealand’s Tayla Dalton earned bronze.
Last but not least, in the mixed shoot-out contest, Latvia’s men sharpshooter Everts Ramza struck gold. He narrowly edged out 2 women, Mexico’s Karina Esquer (silver) and Japan’s Sakura Shimizu (bronze).
The event took place on the iconic Sukhbaatar Square as Ulaanbaatar became the capital of 3×3 for 9 straight days and set up a new record of consecutive FIBA 3×3 Official competitions with the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup, 2 stops of the FIBA 3×3 U23 Nations League and a 3×3 Challenger of the professional circuit.
Final standings of the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup 2019
15. Dominican Republic
2. New Zealand
13. Czech Republic
20. Sri Lanka