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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / September 23.
  • USA thrashes Canada to win FIBA U18 Americas Championship; Kansas’ Quentin Grimes named MVP

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    The USA against Canada in the gold medal game was supposed to be the highlight of the week-long FIBA U18 Americas Championship in St. Catharines, Ontario.

    Instead, it turned into just another USA blowout.

    The Americans thrashed Canada, 113-74, Saturday night to win the gold medal.

    It was the third straight time the Canadians finished as runners-up to the Americans in the event.

    The Canadians beat the Americans in the semifinals of the FIBA U19 World Championship in Cairo, Egypt last summer, but that team was led by R.J. Barrett, who was not with the U18 team this week and will soon be at Duke for his freshman season.

    “It feels good,” said USA U18 and University of Kansas head coach Bill Self. “I think that we saved our best for last. I thought we played great the first half, and then kind of pieced together the second half. But, guys played great. They played unselfish, they played hard and defended. And, we caught Canada on a night where they probably weren’t as good as what they have been, obviously, but I do think our energy had something to do with that.”

    Uncommitted guard Cole Anthony led the USA with 18 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds and Kansas-bound guard Quentin Grimes had 17 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists to earn MVP honors. Matthew Hurt added 17 points, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl added 14 points and 7 rebounds and UNC-bound guard Coby White scored 11 points with 6 rebounds. Armando Bacot added 13 points and 8 rebounds.

    “It is a feeling I can’t describe,” said Grimes. “It is my first time getting an actual gold medal, playing in a FIBA tournament, playing with a great bunch of guys and going out there and getting the job done.

    ¬†“I was a little bit surprised,” added Grimes on his MVP honor. “I started out the tournament a little slow, and then coach Self pulled me aside and told me to be a lot more aggressive. And, I kind of played that up, so I guess that helped me get MVP.”

    Uncommitted wing A.J. Lawson led Canada with 18 points and 12 rebounds, Tyrese Samuel had 13 points and 10 boards and Florida-bound point guard Andrew Nembhard had 12 points and 8 assists.

    Among the coaches on hand for recruiting purposes were Kentucky’s John Calipari, Indiana’s Archie Miller and Minnesota’s Richard Pitino, along with assistants from Duke, Kansas, Louisville, Ohio State, Oklahoma and more.

    Grimes scored 14 points in the first half as the USA took a commanding 61-33 lead. They outscored the Canadians 32-13 in the second quarter.

    Both teams qualified for the U19 World Championship in 2019, as did Argentina and Puerto Rico.

    Photo: USA Basketball

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.