MIAMI (AP)Jimmer Fredette now knows what it’s like to win a 3×3 gold medal with USA Basketball.
He’s hoping it’s the first of many.
Fredette’s 2-pointer – that’s what beyond-the-arc shots are worth in the 3-on-3 game – with 1:07 remaining was the clinching basket in a 21-18 win over Puerto Rico in the title game of the FIBA 3×3 AmeriCup on Sunday night.
”It’s amazing,” Fredette said. ”How fun is that, to be able to win gold and bring it home for the U.S. against some really good competition, some really stout teams. These guys are good. They play well. They play hard. We had to play against some really good basketball teams. It was great to be able to come away with a victory.”
Kareem Maddox led the U.S. with nine points in the title game. Fredette and Canyon Barry – the MVP of the tournament after leading the Americans in scoring – each had five points, and Dylan Travis scored two for the U.S.
Miami Hurricanes alum Guillermo Diaz, who briefly played in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2007-08, led Puerto Rico with six points. In 3×3, baskets are worth one point, and shots from beyond the arc was worth two. It’s a 10-minute game, and ends either when time is up or when a team reaches 21, whichever comes first.
The U.S. went 5-0 over the weekend. The Americans have now gone 2-for-2 winning gold in the men’s event at the 3×3 AmeriCup, after also going 5-0 on the way to a title in the inaugural event last year – with Barry and Maddox part of that team as well.
”We found a way to win,” Fredette said. ”That’s what good teams do.”
Fredette has played for five NBA teams, was The Associated Press college player of the year in 2011 as a senior at BYU and played internationally in Greece and China. He’s giving 3×3 a shot with the 2024 Paris Olympics in mind, and got quite the education on Sunday about how different the outdoor game is.
Temporary courts were set up for the tournament on a plaza at the arena where the Miami Heat play their home games. There is a roof over much of the plaza, but no walls – meaning wind coming off Biscayne Bay was affecting shots. And just before the gold-medal games for men and women started, storm clouds rolled in.
A brief downpour delayed the start of the women’s gold medal game – Canada topped Brazil for that title – and the men’s title game was delayed for 20 minutes because of more rain coming in and wind blowing it onto the playing surface.
Fans ran for cover. Tarps were unfurled to cover some of the court. More than a dozen workers used mops and towels to try and soak up every bit of dampness and get the game back underway. And when the game resumed, moisture may have been the reason why the oversized scoreboard set up on the right corner of the floor went dark for a few minutes.
”We had a little of everything,” Fredette said.
And in the end, he left with gold.
”Shooters shoot,” Fredette said. ”That’s what I do.”
U.S. WOMEN THIRD
The U.S. women won the bronze at AmeriCup, falling to eventual champion Canada in the semifinals 17-15 before topping Colombia 17-13 in the third-place game.
The Americans were 4-1 at the tournament.
”We got a lot better from the first point of the tournament to the last point,” U.S. coach Jennifer Rizzotti said. ”Getting 3×3 experience is just so valuable. Having a chance to have new players out here playing in a national-level tournament like this is very good for us.”
Nalyssa Smith, Camille Zimmerman, Lexie Hull and Veronica Burton represented the U.S. in the event.
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