Callan Praises Boykin, Collier and Samuelson

In the wake of winning the gold medal in the 3×3 competition at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China today, UConn Class of 2015 commits De’Janae Boykin, Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson have now won a combined nine gold medals through their participation with USA Basketball. All three won two this summer.

Samuelson has earned four gold medals overall (2014 FIBA U-17 World Championship; 2013 FIBA Americas U-16 Championship; 2013 FIBA 3×3 U-18 World Championship). Boykin has won three (2014 FIBA U-17 World Championship; 2013 FIBA Americas U-16 Championship). And Collier has won two (2014 FIBA Americas U-18 Championship).

Here is what USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director Carol Callan had to say today about this talented trio …

“What’s interesting is this was Napheesa’s first summer, but De’Janae and Lou have been with us for several summers,’’ Callan said. “So to call them veterans is with a smile on my face. But, yet, that’s what it feels like. To talk a little bit further on what Geno (Auriemma) talks about in terms of culture, De’Janae and Lou were on a team last year as well as this year and sometimes we beat teams by a lot and we start to get a little full of ourselves. And yet at the World U-17 Championships this summer we only won the gold medal by two points (77-75 vs. Spain). So that all of sudden makes a player grow up quite a bit.

“And what’s interesting about all of them, and Napheesa as well, they’ve played now multiple years on 3-on-3. So they’ve expanded their game not only from 5-on-5 but to 3-on-3 and the growth is amazing and they all still have a year of high school remaining in front of them. So I think there’s a maturity. And I think maybe what the maturity does more than anything is under pressure there’s a calm that I’ve noticed in them that when we’re in a game where we’re down in the fourth quarter and we only win by two there was a calmness to Lou and D that was very apparent and I think it’s because they have so much experience with us. Napheesa has a motor that just doesn’t stop. She’s not content to just shoot the ball. She then wants to get the rebound. And so I think Connecticut fans will have a lot to be happy here in a couple years when they get on campus.’’