New Zealand wins 2015 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships
|Jun 8, 2015|
New Zealand's men's squad has taken home the 2015 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship Trophy after a thrilling 20-18 victory over Argentina.
The tournament was held in Debrecen, Hungary, with the Kiwis finishing the tournament with an impressive 8-1 record, using their size advantage to dominate the competition.
New Zealand's gold medal winning squad (from left to right: Tai Wynyard, Matthew Freeman, Nikau McCullough and Sam Timmins)
Wynyard had a game-high 8 points in the championship game, while also coming up big on the defensive end, highlighted by a brilliant block on Argentina's Martin Ariel Fernandez.
Matthew Freeman hit some timely shots from the perimeter to keep New Zealand in the game, with the 6'10 forward's shooting stroke proving to be a big factor throughout the tournament.
Rounding out the Kiwi team was Washington commit Samuel Timmins, as well as all-round guard Nikau McCullough. The squad lost their first game of the tournament to a tough French side before winning their next eight games en route to the championship.
Team of the Tournament, feat. New Zealand's Tai Wynyard (middle)
Tai Wynyard was named tournament MVP, as well as being selected to the Team of the Tournament. Wynyard's body has noticeably improved, with a growing expectation that he'll join the Kentucky Wildcats at the semester break.
Prior to arriving in Hungary, the squad participated in a FIBA 3x3 Preparation event in Colorado Springs. Jonathan Givony from DraftExpress managed to catch up with big-men Tai Wynyard and Matthew Freeman at the event.