Three Prince George's County residents helped the USA Basketball U-18 men's team win a gold medal in the FIBA Americas U-18 Championship. The U.S. team beat Brazil, 81-56, in the gold medal game on Wednesday in Sao Sebastiao Dos Paraiso, Brazil.
DeMatha High School graduates Jerami Grant of Bowie and James Robinson of Mitchellville and Gonzaga College High (D.C.) graduate Nate Britt II of Upper Marlboro were members of the U.S. team, which finished the tournament with a 5-0 record. In the championship game, Grant had seven points and seven rebounds, Robinson had six points and three rebounds and Britt added three points and two assists. The U.S. team, guided by University of Florida coach Billy Donovan, dominated the tournament, averaging 97.2 points per game and winning by an average of 38.6 points per game.
In the title game against Brazil, the U.S. led 37-31 at halftime, but enjoyed a 19-9 advantage in the third quarter. The U.S. had its highest-scoring quarter of the game in the fourth period, outscoring Brazil 25-16.
“It feels great,” said Britt, a University of North Carolina recruit, in comments posted on the USA Basketball website. “I think this is the greatest accomplishment I've ever achieved in my life.”
“It meant a lot playing in a good game, a tight game,” said Grant, a Syracuse University recruit. “Either way it would have felt great to win the gold, but I feel like in this environment, when you're playing in Brazil against Brazil, it added a lot more meaning to it.”
Julius Randle, a rising high school senior from McKinney, Texas, had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the U.S. team in the title game. Jarnell Stokes, a rising sophomore at the University of Tennessee, added 11 points, and Oklahoma State University recruit Marcus Smart had 10.
Robinson, who is headed to the University of Pittsburgh in the fall, had two baskets in a key stretch in the first quarter.
“I just tried to be aggressive, push the ball,” Robinson said. “Playing on this team there are so many other great scorers that the other team was kind of focusing on the so I kind of had an open lane. In the second half all our big guys did a great job of protecting our basket, catching passes and finishing and they kind of made the game easy for us.”