BASKETBALL: U.S. and China sweep to 3×3 World Cup titles, qualify for Tokyo 2020

U.S. guard Damon Huffman shoots in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup

The United States had never won a men’s 3×3 world title in the five prior editions of the FIBA 3×3 World Cup. In fact, an American men’s team had played for a medal only once, losing to perennial power Serbia in the 2016 final.

But that’s all over now as the U.S. men’s quartet went undefeated in the 2019 World Cup in Amsterdam (NED), defeating Latvia, 18-14, in the final. The winners included:

Canyon Berry (25) ~ 6-5 guard; plays for the G-League Iowa Wolves; played at Florida
Damon Huffman (34) ~ 6-1 guard; played at Brown
Robbie Hummel (30) ~ 6-7 forward; played for NBA Timberwolves and at Purdue
Kareem Maddox (29) ~ 6-8 forward; played at Princeton

The Americans showed from their first game that they would have to be dealt with, defeating the top-seeded Serbs by 21-16, then winning the remaining pool games by 22-3 over Turkey, 22-8 over Korea and a tight 15-14 win over the Netherlands.

In the playoffs, the U.S. sailed past third-seeded Slovenia, 21-14 and Poland, 22-8 in the semis. In the final against fourth-seeded Latvia, the U.S. defense was again the key, holding the opponents to 11-32 from the field (34.3%) while shooting 14-30 (467%) themselves. The Americans ended with a scoring differential of 141-77 or 20.1-11.0 per game.

Huffman had eight points to lead the winners, followed by Maddox with five, Hummel with four and Barry with one. Hummel was named as the Most Valuable Player in the tournament and was joined by Michael Hicks (POL) and Karlis Lasmanis (LAT) on the All-Tournament team

Top-seeded China ran through the women’s tournament undefeated and won its first 3×3 world title over Hungary, 19-13, in the final.

The top three teams in both divisions qualified for the 2020 Tokyo tournament. Summaries:

FIBA 3×3 World Cup
Amsterdam (NED) 18-23 June 2019
(Full results here)

Men: 1. United States (Canyon Berry, Damon Huffman, Robbie Hummel, Kareem Maddox), 7-0; 2. Latvia (Cavars, Krumins, Lasmanis, Miezis), 5-2; 3. Poland (Hicks, Pawlowski, Sroka, Zamojski), 5-2; 4. Serbia (Bulut, Majstorovic, Savic, Vasic), 4-3. Semis: U.S. 22, Poland 8; Latvia 22, Serbia 19. Third: Poland 18, Serbia 15. Final: U.S. 18, Latvia 14.

Women: 1. China (Jaiyin Jiang, Yingyun Li, Di Wu, Zhiting Zhang), 7-0; 2. Hungary (Goree, Medgyessy, Papp, Theodorean), 5-2; 3. France (Filip, Guapo, Paget, Toure), 6-1; 4. Australia (Cole, Froling, Garrick, Kunek), 4-3. Semis: China 15, Australia 14; Hungary 14, France 10. Third: France 21, Australia 5. Final: China 19, Hungary 13.