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.
Julius Randle can add a gold medal to his growing list of accomplishments.
The uncommitted 2013 forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy put up a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds to help the U.S. U18 team win the gold medal over host Brazil, 81-56, in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
In five games in Brazil, Randle averaged 14.2 points and 6.6 rebounds.
Oklahoma State-bound guard Marcus Smart added 10 points, six steals, four rebounds and three assists.
“I just wanted to lock in and bring energy to the team, bring leadership to the team, and in the second half I just really wanted to focus in and be aggressive on both ends and on the defensive and offensive glass,” said Randle, who had 14 of his points and 11 of his boards in the second half.
“Julius made some really, really big plays; athletic plays around the basket. He really stepped up and I thought he played exceptionally well yesterday against Argentina, then to come back and follow it up was terrific,” USA head coach Billy Donovan said.
The Americans won their sixth gold medal in the U18 competition, joining the 2010, 2006, 1998, 1994 and 1990 teams that also won.
Team USA is 43-2 overall in the FIBA Americas U18 tournament and has won 10 straight dating to 2010.
In the bronze medal game, Canada (4-1) just slipped past Argentina (2-3) 68-66.
The top finishers from the U18 championship – USA, Brazil, Canada and Argentina- each earned an invite to the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.
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.