Additional Quotes >> USA U18 Men 113, Canada 79 (Gold Medal Game)
Colorado Springs, Colorado ē June 24, 2014
USA Head Coach Billy Donovan (University of Florida)
On tonightís game:
I felt pretty good. We got up by 10 or 12 points and then we let them cut the lead back down to about three and then we went on a run and closed the half out, went into the locker room up 14. Looking down at the stat sheet it was very clear that Canadaís main guys had logged a lot of minutes in that first half. We were rotating some guys, we had some foul trouble we had to weather, but the energy in that third quarter is what really opened up and separated the game. I thought fatigue played somewhat of a factor in it.
Did you turn to your captains for leadership tonight, especially in the first half?
Absolutely. Justise Winslow, Stanley Johnson, Tyus Jones, those guys have been through a lot of this. Those guys really stepped up. I think that winning today was really, really important to them. They wanted to win and wanted to obviously represent our country well, especially considering the tournamentís here in Colorado Springs. So, I thought those guys, leadership-wise, did a great job.
On the youth of the team:
If you really think about it, outside of the four guys going to college, everyone else is going into their senior year in high school, so itís very impressive what those guys have done at such a young age.
Youíre now 19-0 as a head coach with USA Basketball, with three gold medals. How does that feel?
Iím just honored. I think that as a coach in this kind of event, youíre only as good as your players. Iíve been very fortunate that in the past three years, Iíve coached some great guys, great kids and have had some great coaches working with me. These guys were unbelievable to deal with. They bought in, they listened and theyíre the ones who really played well. Iím just happy I could be a part of it and be taken along for the ride.
Isaiah Briscoe (Roselle Catholic H.S./Union, N.J.)
On what it means to win a gold medal:
It means a lot. This is a special moment, to represent our country, and of course, to keep the gold here in the United States.
On the game and the tight first half that was played:
Closer than what we had had so far, so coach told us to not get frustrated, but just to keep it up and keep playing as a team
Jaylen Brown (Wheeler H.S./Alpharetta, Ga.)
What is it like to have the gold medal around your neck?
Itís a life-changing experience. This is the first time being able to represent my country, so itís a sweet feeling to be able to win gold the first try.
When the clock when off and you knew you were the gold medalist, what went through your head?
It felt unreal. It was a relieving victory. This was the first time ever representing my country and it felt awesome. Iím so proud of my guys. Iím so proud of myself of winning gold. Iím just going to take it back to Atlanta where Iím from and hold it up high.
Jalen Brunson (Adlai E. Stevenson H.S./Lincolnshire, Ill.)
What was it like to win the gold medal?
Itís a surreal feeling just to know that Iím a gold medalist now. This is something I can never forget about. Itís something thatís always something to think about - how hard Iíve worked. This is the farthest Iíve ever been. Itís a great feeling. It just sets the pace for next year. I want to come back and try to win another one at the (FIBA U19) World Championship.
How much did you learn from this experience?
I learned so much. Just having the mind-set and being coachable really helped me, because I took a lot in from these almost Hall of Fame coaches right here. Thereís no time to back talk, thereís no time to give attitudes. I was just trying to take it all in and thatís what I did.
How much did you learn from the three co-captains?
I learned a lot, especially from Tyus. We play the same position. We got a really close bond, not just on the court but off the court. The off the court stuff really helps the chemistry on the court, so it just helps.
Chase Jeter (Bishop Gorman H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.)
On what it feels like to be a gold medalist for the USA:
It feels great. Iím just blessed to have had the opportunity to come out and represent my country with these guys. We went out and we stuck together and we won gold as a team.
On what went through his head after the final buzzer:
My heart kind of dropped, and I got that fuzzy feeling inside. I was feeling good and proud; proud to be a part of this team, proud to represent our country and proud of being a part of USA Basketball.
Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei H.S./Fullerton, Calif.)
On winning his third gold medal with USA Basketball:
Itís a great experience; itís my third time doing it. Every team is different, every situation is different and itís all been really good. Now weíre older and a lot of good coaching and it was tougher. Playing Canada last, it made us challenge ourselves and play better so to win the championship here is amazing.
On the game against Canada:
It was pretty tough; they played us the whole game. Even towards the end they were still competing and it was great. They played a good game and so did we.
On winning Most Valuable Player of the 2014 FIBA Americas Championship:
Itís a team honor, really. Anybody on the team could have gotten it; whatís more important is winning the gold medal and all of us playing hard to get it.
Tyus Jones (Apple Valley H.S./Apple Valley, Minn.)
On the significance of winning his third gold medal with USA Basketball
Itís always the same great feeling. To get to represent your country is a great honor and being able to win the gold medal, thereís nothing like it.
On bouncing back from a tight first half:
I think we just wore them down. They came out with a lot of energy, itís obviously the championship game, but we knew we were deeper with our roster, so it was a group effort.
What does this team mean to you?
It means a lot to me; this team is very close. We get along great off the court so itís been a blessing to be on this team.
Luke Kennard (Franklin H.S./Franklin, Ohio)
Whatís it like to win a gold medal for your country?
Itís really an honor. Itís a great experience Iíll never forget. Representing this country is just unbelievable. Itís a great honor. This is something Iíll never forget fo the rest of my life.
How much did you learn from playing for college coaches?
I learned a lot. Not just on the court, but off the court as well. Theyíre great guys off the court. I loved working with them. Theyíre preparing me for my future. Itís been a really good experience playing for them.
How much did it help having guys who have won gold medals in the past on the team with you and what did you learn from them?
They really brought everybody together. Theyíre the captains on the team, theyíre great teammates. Iím going to be playing with two of them at Duke real soon. They really brought me in and really helped me throughout the games and throughout practices.
Tyler Lydon (New Hampton School/Elizaville, N.Y.)
Whatís it like to win a gold medal for your country?
Itís a huge honor. Itís a dream come true. Itís an experience Iíll never forget as long as I live.
Was it good to have a tough game like this at the end?
Yeah, it makes it more fun. A lot of guys stepped up. We all contributed in big ways, so itís a great feeling.
What did you learn about yourself and your game over the past week?
Itís really about Ö I just need to do different things. Iím not always going to have to score the ball, especially playing with guys this talented. Iím just figuring out that I need to do stuff, the little things like rebound the ball and play with energy.
Allonzo Trier (Montrose Christian/Seattle, Wash.)
On the significance of earning a gold medal:
It means everything. It means all the sacrifices paid off. It was amazing representing my country and coming out on top like we were supposed to do.
On the battle Canada gave during tonightís game:
We wore them down as we closed down, so we continued doing that. We broke through in the third quarter, and we jumped out to a big lead.
Myles Turner (Trinity H.S./Bedford, Texas)
On establishing himself as the new blocks record holder:
Itís pretty awesome. I have a lot of emotions and just to contribute to the team in that way means a lot going forward.
On how different it is to win the Nike Hoop Summit and winning a gold medal:
Itís a lot different. To win that one game was great; we celebrated as a team, we defeated some of the best players. Here, we came to training camp, we grinded it out for two weeks, we won a series of games, so just that feeling that you have achieved all of that as opposed to one game is a great feeling.
On getting that gold medal around his neck while his family was up in the stands:
All I had to do was look at them; as soon as I got it, I just looked at them. Theyíve been with me through everything. They made sure I got here, they drove 12 hours to get here, so just having them supporting me and getting that gold medal to make it all worth it is incredible.
Justise Winslow (St. Johnís School/Houston, Texas)
On what it means to win the gold medal:
This is special because of the role I play on this team, being the older guy, having done it before, being a leader, itís something really special. We came together through adversity. Itís just a great feeling to win a gold medal for your country.
On tonightís gold medal game:
Canadaís a great opponent, theyíre a great team, but I think our depth, weíve got twelve guys that can all play as well as anyone else. I think our depth just really wore them down in the second half and we just kept going; we pushed through and we got a big win.
Stephen Zimmerman (Bishop Gorman H.S./Las Vegas)
On winning the gold medal tonight:
Itís a huge blessing. Itís an honor being here with all of my friends and representing my country.
On the game tonight:
We knew it was going to be close in the beginning but weíre all so much in shape and have so many bodies that can do so many things that we had a feeling we were going to be able to pull it through. Seeing my parents crying and being proud of me was really special.