CHENGDU, China – Freshman Texas guard Destiny Littleton and Team USA captured the gold medal at the 2017 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup on Sunday in Chengdu, China.
After recording a perfect 4-0 record in the preliminary rounds, the United States defeated France 18-14 in the medal quarterfinals before beating Russia 17-10 in the medal semifinals. Team USA notched a 21-14 victory against the Czech Republic in the gold-medal game.
The win produced the USA's third gold medal in six editions of the event, the first gold since 2013 and its sixth medal overall. The U.S. previously earned gold in 2012 and 2013, silver in 2015 and 2016 and an honorary bronze medal at the inaugural event in 2011.
Destiny Littleton totaled 32 points in the span of Team USA's seven games at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup. She, along with teammates Janelle Bailey, Aquira DeCosta and Christyn Williams, comprised Team USA.
"When you put this jersey on and USA is across our chests, just to play for our country and win gold means everything," Destiny Littleton said. "The first couple of games, we're new to this. None of my teammates have played 3x3, and it's a lot different from five-on-five. We just stuck together and fought through."
Destiny Littleton was clutch for the United States in the quarterfinal game against France. With Team USA trailing 11-9 and four minutes remaining, Littleton converted on a three-point play after being fouled from beyond the arc to give the United States a 12-11 lead that it would not relinquish.
In accordance with FIBA 3x3 rules, each game consists of one, 10-minute period. The team leading after completion of regular playing time, or the first team to score 21 points is declared the winner. If the game ends in a tie, the first team to score two points in overtime earns the victory. Shots made outside the arc are awarded two points, shots made inside the arc are awarded one point and each made free throw is worth one point. Additionally, a 12-second shot clock is utilized.
The first FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup was held in 2011. The event is held annually, with the exception of the years in which the Youth Olympic Games are held (2018, 2022, etc.).
With seven wins in the 2017 U18 3x3 competition, USA 3x3 Women's World Cup Teams have now compiled a 42-7 overall record in the event.
Team USA 3x3 U18 World Cup Results
USA 13, Hungary 9
USA 21, Japan 15
USA 19, Switzerland 11
USA 20, Australia 11
USA 18, France 14
USA 17, Russia 10
USA 21, Czech Republic 14