MALAGA, Spain — The FIBA U17 World Cup — on hiatus since 2018 because of the COVID pandemic — returned earlier this month and topped the U.S. as champions for the sixth straight time for the reason that occasion’s inception. Head coach Sharman White’s American group was dominant, profitable each recreation by 40 factors on common, and bringing its win whole to 44-Zero by transferring the ball joyously, turning opponents over incessantly and being the very best Three-point taking pictures group on the occasion.
Spain, which featured its greatest era of expertise since Pau Gasol, Felipe Reyes and Juan Carlos Navarro beat the U.S. within the FIBA U18 World Championship in 1999, proved a worthy adversary within the gold-medal recreation, main 47-40 halfway by means of the third quarter earlier than finally bowing out 79-67.
The match proved to be an emphatic introduction to 15-year-old Cooper Flagg — presumably the very best participant ever to return out of the state of Maine — on the world stage. The 6-foot-Eight Flagg made a powerful case as the very best prospect in highschool basketball and a possible No. 1 decide candidate down the street. (For a way of how necessary this occasion could be in projecting future greatness, check out a few of the participants we covered at the 2018 FIBA U17s.)