UConn Class of 2015 commits De’Janae Boykin, Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson added to their gold medal collection today in the 3×3 competition of the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. Along with former UConn 2015 target Arike Ogunbowale, they led the U.S. to a 21-14 win over Hungary in the semifinals and a 19-10 win over the Netherlands in the gold medal game to finish 13-0 in the tournament.
Collier, Ogunbowale and Samuelson each had seven points against Hungary. Samuelson led the team with eight points against the Netherlands. Ogunbowale had seven and Collier added four.
Collier finished the tournament with a team-high 113 points on 68.1 percent shooting (92-of-135). Samuelson had 41 points, missing six games due to a sprained left ankle. Boykin had 33.
Boykin and Samuelson also won gold at the FIBA U-17 World Championship last month in Pilsen, Czech Republic. Collier helped lead the U.S. to gold at FIBA Americas U-18 Championship for Women at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. earlier this month.
Here is what Boykin, Collier and Samuelson had to say following play today (courtesy of USA Basketball) …
On her thoughts of today’s games: “Today were very tough games. Both games were very physical. But we got together before each game and said that we had to play hard. Both games were very tough, but it feels good to come out with the game.’’
On the 9-0 spark in the gold medal game that changed the energy of the contest: “We weren’t going to come here to lose. We wanted this; we wanted to win.’’
On winning her third gold medal playing for the USA and first Olympic gold medal: “It feels great. This is the Youth Olympic Games and it’s pretty big. We’re all excited and very happy.’’
On winning her second gold medal playing for the USA in the month of August: “This feels so good, even a little better because it’s the Youth Olympics.’’
On today’s games: “I think that we focused on one game at the time. Hungary was shorter so we could post them up, but the Netherlands was taller so we had to space up our game and change it up. Everything worked out.’’
On having the support from all other members of Team USA today: “It felt awesome to know the crowd was behind us, and that all of those players and fellow USA athletes came to support us.’’
On their gold medal game: “It was such a physical game. Netherlands played so hard and so well, and we finally pulled out at the end, but it was such a good game. “On her performance today: “My shooting wasn’t on today so I knew that I had to get to the basket. At that point when I got the and-one, I think all of us were just like, `OK, this is enough. We need to take it away right now.’’’
On winning her fifth medal playing for the USA and winning her fourth gold: “It’s amazing. There’s nothing that compares to this and this is an Olympic medal. It’s so cool to be able to be on this USA Youth Olympic Team.’’
On this whole experience: “It’s been incredible. I’ve met so many people from so many different sports that I never would have met without this opportunity.’’