June 20, 2012
• Box Score
MADISON, Wis. -- Sam Dekker isn't a stranger to championship games.
The Sheboygan native finished his high school career at the Kohl Center with a 40-point performance that included a game-winning three-pointer, capping off Sheboygan Lutheran's first state title. Although Dekker has the composure and the experience to stay level-headed and hit the big shot when the time comes, one thing was for certain -- there would be no need for a buzzer beater finish in the FIBA Americas gold medal game.
Team U.S.A. brought home the country's sixth U18 FIBA Championships gold medal in an 81-56 trouncing of the Brazilian National team on Wednesday night. Dekker went 3-for-8 from the field, tallying seven points and two rebounds in the team's win.
Despite Brazil holding the home-court advantage, Team U.S.A. was able to defeat the tournament host twice during the FIBA Championships by a combined 44 points.
USA men's teams are now 43-2 overall in the FIBA Americas U18 Championships (formerly known as the Junior World Championship Qualifier), and have captured gold in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010 and 2012 while winning a silver in 2008 and a bronze medal in 2002.
2012 FIBA Americas Championship Synopsis:
Gold medal game - USA 81, Brazil 56
Dekker caps off his stint with the U18 National Team by tallying seven points (3-for-8) and adding two rebounds in Team U.S.A.'s gold medal-clinching victory over Brazil. After missing the U.S.'s opening game, Dekker averaged 5.0 points and 2.5 rebounds during four games at the FIBA Championships.
Semifinals - USA 107, Argentina 72
Playing alongside some of the most talented U18 players in the country, Dekker posted three points and four rebounds in nine minutes of action against Argentina, going three-for-four from the free throw stripe.
GAME 3 - USA 83, Brazil 64
Team USA saw its best competiton in the final preliminary round game of the FIBA Americas Championship when it tipped off with tournament host Brazil. After getting out to a 49-28 lead at the half, the U.S. was outscored in the third quarter alone, as Brazil cut the lead to 61-47 heading into the final quarter. It was the closest the Brazilians would get as Dekker tallied eight points, two rebounds and a steal in 12 minutes of action. Team USA will tip-off with Argentina at 4 p.m. CT on Tuesday, June 19 in the medal round semifinals. The gold medal game is scheduled for June 20.
GAME 2 - USA 110, Mexico 59
After missing Team USA's opening round game due to injury, Dekker made his debut against Mexico, going 1-for-4 from the field, while grabbing two rebounds. Dekker also recorded a steal in 10 minutes of action and will look to be more aggressive as his playing time increases and his injury heals. Team USA will conclude preliminary round action on June 18 as it takes on Brazil at 4 p.m. CT.
GAME 1 - USA 105, U.S. Virgin Islands 42
Despite Dekker's absence in the opening game of the preliminary round, Team USA cruised to an easy victory over the U.S. Virgin Islands. The U18 team showed its depth and quick-strike ability by jumping out to a 76-32 lead after three quarters. The U.S. now gears up for a battle with Mexico on June 17 at Noon CT.