Boykin, Brown, Durr, Samuelson Talk U-16 Gold

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UConn Class of 2015 target and tournament MVP Asia Durr averaged 18.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals in 20.4 minutes as the U.S. won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U-16 Championship Sunday in Cancun, Mexico.

Katie Lou Samuelson averaged 16.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals in 27.2 minutes; DeJanae Boykin averaged 8.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.2 steals in 25.0 minutes; Kalani Brown averaged 7.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 16.6 minutes.

Here is what they had to say after defeating Canada in the gold medal game Sunday (courtesy of USA Basketball) …

DeJanae Boykin
Q: On (Sunday’s) game against Canada …
A: “The game was very aggressive. We knew Canada was a great team, and we are great team. We came out a bit slow at the start. In the second half, we knew we wanted to win, and we just came out hard and played.’’

Q: How does it feel to win a gold medal?
A: “We won. We made it. We came here for this, and we did it. I’m excited, proud, everything. I’m just so excited that we won.’’

Q: What will you take away from this experience?
A: “The experience of meeting the girls, meeting other teams and seeing a different culture.’’

Q: Has this experience helped you become a better basketball player?
A: “My aggressiveness with rebounding. I think I improved on my rebounding a lot.’’

Kalani Brown
Q: How does it feel to win a gold medal?
A: “It feels so great getting first place. I don’t know. Words can’t even describe how excited I am about winning a gold medal.’’

Q: What will you take away from this experience?
A: “Work hard all the time, every practice, and in the end you will be rewarded.’’

Q: “Has this experience helped you become a better basketball player?
A: “Actually, it upped my game. With the training and everything, it was hard, but it comes around in the end. If you work hard, it pays off in the end.’’

Asia Durr
Q: On (Sunday’s) game …
A: “We knew Canada was a great team, and coach told us it was going to be a fight.’’

Q: On the USA’s second half …
A: “Coach told us to create turnovers and focus on our defense, and that’s what we did.’’

Q: On winning tournament MVP …
A: “I was shocked. The whole team played great throughout this tournament, and for them to call my name, it means a lot.’’

Q: How does it feel to win a gold medal?
“It means so much to me. This is a new thing for me, and it’s been a great experience.’’

Q: What will you take away from this experience?
A: “The bond we made, meeting the girls and the coaches and just getting to know them.’’

Q: Has this experience helped you become a better basketball player?
A: “I think this experience made me a better basketball player. Different coaches and new teammates, it taught me a lot.’’

Katie Lou Samuelson
Q: On (Sunday’s) game …
A: “Canada played awesome. They were there to win. We knew coming out of halftime that if we didn’t step up, they were going to take it. We just had to pick up our defense.’’

Q: On her USA U-16 record 8-of-8 3-point shooting …
A: “I’ve been shooting since I was really little. That’s probably my main focus, shooting over and over again. Making 8-of-8, it’s really nice that it paid off, especially in such a big game. It’s really just a great feeling.’’

Q: How does it feel to win a gold medal?
A: “It’s awesome. It’s unbelievable, nothing you could ever compare to. Something you’ve always dreamed of, and then when you finally reach it, it’s just awesome.’’

Q: Has this experience helped you become a better basketball player?
A: “I think this experience really taught me how to become more of a team player and really get everyone excited and involved. I’m going to take things back from here and try to incorporate it into my high school team, like how positive everyone is and how everyone works so hard.’’

Rich

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