Harrell's team-best 17 lead USA to U19 Gold Medal win over Serbia
PRAGUE, Czech Republic —
University of Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell earned a gold medal
today as a member of the USA Basketball team, defeating Serbia 82-68
in the title game of the 2013 FIBA U19
Harrell totaled a
team-high 17 points, four rebounds, four blocked shots and hit 8-of-16
field goals in 28 minutes as the USA pulled away from a 40-38 halftime
edge to claim its first U19 championship since 2009.
In nine games during
the event, Harrell started every game and averaged 10.6 points, 3.7
rebounds, hit 42-of-73 field goals (.575) and added eight steals and 10
blocked shots while averaging 18 minutes a game
for the deep USA squad, coached by Florida's Billy Donovan.
Serbia's only previous
loss in the event had been to the USA on July 3 in a 71-62 decision.
The USA had beaten defending champion Lithuania 100-60 on Saturday to
reach the USA's eighth U19 final game.
Arizona signee Aaron Gordon and Jahlil Okafor of Whitney Young High
School in Chicago made the All-Tournament team for the Americans.
The U.S. made 32 of 57 shots (56 percent) from two-point range and
outrebounded the Serbians 39-28, including 17-6 in the first half. They
also forced 17 Serbian turnovers and grabbed 12 steals.
The USA (9-0) became
the sixth team to win the tournament without a loss, a feat achieved on
three previous occasions by the USA (1979, 1991, 2009) and once by both
Yugoslavia (1987) and Greece (1995). Six different
countries had won gold at the last six U19 World Championships. The
USA has won five gold and three silver medals in the U19 World
Championships, but did not earn a medal in the 2011 event when it
finished fifth with a 7-2 record.
Harrell played all 40
games as a freshman in helping Louisville achieve its third NCAA title
in April. During the postseason, Harrell averaged 6.4 points and 3.2
rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game. In the team's
BIG EAST title victory over Syracuse, He scored a season-high 20 points
and grabbed seven rebounds in just 24 minutes of action.
A Tarboro, N.C.,
native, Harrell also won a gold medal with the USA at the 2012 FIBA
Americas U18 Championship, played in Sao Sebastiao de Paraiso, Brazil.