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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

U.S. wins 3x3 U18 title

The United States, featuring a pair of players from the Class of 2015 on UConn's recruiting radar, won the FIBA 3x3 U18 title with a 20-12 win over Indonesia.

Katie Lou Samuelson, a 6-foot-3 wing from Huntington Beach, Calif., and Arike Ogunbowale, a 5-foot-9 guard from Milwaukee, teamed with Notre Dame commit Brianna Turner and California commit Gabby Green to win the title with wins over France, Spain and Estonia on Sunday after going 4-1 in pool play (with the loss coming to Lithuania).

Here are quotes from Ogunbowale and Samuelson courtesy of the folks from USA Basketball.

Arike Ogunbowale (Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.)

How’s it feel to win gold?
It feels great, it’s really cool. It took a lot of work.
What were the keys to winning gold?
We just had to be more physical than the other teams and keep up our intensity the whole time and come out strong every game.
Did fatigue become a factor with it being hot and playing so many fast-paced games in a short amount of time? Could you feel the other teams tiring?
We felt they were (tiring), you could just tell. We did well because we subbed often and that kept us pretty fresh.
The winning of the gold medal was a team effort, it seemed like there was great balance on the USA team.
Oh yeah, I felt it a lot. Even from Colorado our first time playing with each other. At first it was a little rough but then we kind of came together really quickly and so then I knew it would be good from there. We have a feel for how each other plays, Gabby and Bri (Brinna Turner) played with each other and then me and Katie and played with each other and we put it all together.
What were some of the characteristics that led the team to gold?
Probably just the drive, motivation, determination, all those three. We wanted to win, we didn’t want anything less than a gold medal so that helped and our pride in our country.

Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.)
How does it feel to win gold?
It feels great; it was a great experience.
Talk about the gold medal game with Estonia; what was the key?
We started off really well. Estonia played hard but we really kept a face paced game and I think we tired them out and we kept going with our intensity and it really helped.
France entered its game with the U.S. 6-0, what did you think the key was in this game?
We knew we had to come out hard and if we played the way we did against Spain the day before we knew we could win it. So we just came out and played as hard as we could and we just wanted this and we played really well.
The winning of the gold medal seemed to be a total team effort. The team appeared to have really good chemistry. Is that true? 
We got along really well and we all knew our strengths and weaknesses and we all helped each game. We all got along great and we’re really close now and it was great to play with them.

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