Stone, Newman Lead USA U17s to 1st Victory at Worlds | Zagsblog
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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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Wednesday / April 24.
  • Stone, Newman Lead USA U17s to 1st Victory at Worlds

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    USA 17sDiamond Stone and Malik Newman, who are talking about a potential package deal to college, led the charge for the USA U17 team in their opening-round game of the U17 World Championship in Dubai on Friday.

    The 6-foot-10 Stone out of Milwaukee (WI) Dominican went for 18 of his 22 points in the first half and 10 rebounds, while the 6-4 Newman from Jackson (MS) Calloway tallied 13 points in an 83-73 win over Greece.

    “Diamond was great,” Newman said. “He was a big factor for us because he can work from the inside-out. For us to feed him early and for him get going kind of opened up the game for us guards.”

    Jayson Tatum, a 2016 guard from St. Louis (MO) Chaminade, added 10 points.

    (The game will rebroadcast live at midnight Friday on ESPNU.)

    Stone and Newman — along with USA forward Ivan Rabb of Oakland (CA) Bishop O’Dowd — are all close friends through USA Basketball and have discussed playing together in various permuations. Stone and Newman could join forces at a UConn, Kansas or Kentucky — or they could go their separate ways.

    Next up for the U.S. squad is a game against Angola (1-0) on Aug. 9 (8:30 a.m. EDT on ESPNU/Watch ESPN), followed by its final preliminary round contest against Philippines (0-1) on Aug. 11 (10:45 a.m. EDT on ESPNU/Watch ESPN).

    “One of the things I really liked about our team is that the guys off the bench came in with really high energy every time and our defense was pretty good down the stretch,” said USA head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S., Iowa).

    “We had some really good stops against some really good guards. They had two guards who played at the (2014 European) U18s as well. We played a really good team and we’re really proud that we came away with the win tonight. We knew it would be a battle.

    “This was probably one of the best teams we’ve faced in all the U17 games (2010 and 2012). They had four guys who played in the (2014 European) U18s. (Vasilis Charalampopoulos) is a really good player. He was all-tournament at the U18s. And the big guy (Giorgios Papagiannis) has got a really nice touch around the basket, so we knew they were going to be a good team. Our kids knew it was going to be a battle the whole game, which it was.”

    Following preliminary round play teams will be seeded within each group and all 16 teams will advance to the round of 16, which will be contested Aug. 12. Quarterfinals are slated for Aug. 14, semifinals will be played Aug. 15 and the finals will take place Aug. 16. Should the U.S. men continue to advance, all of their games will be carried by ESPNU/Watch ESPN or ESPN3.

    “We got the win,” said Stone, who scored 18 of his 22 by halftime. “This was a big deal for us. Greece is a great team. We just came out of the gate and were attacking the rim. Our coach told us not to settle for jump shots, so we took that into consideration and started attacking the rim and started increasing the lead.”Greece never again got closer than eight points and the USA came away with the victory.

    “It was a good game,” said Newman. “Basketball is a game of runs. At first we got kind of shook up by it, but we had to think about it, toughen up and believe in each other, trust in each other and just fight through it.”

    (Release/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.

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