For the third time in as many summers, Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan led USA Basketball to a gold medal as his under-18 team defeated Canada 113-79 in the finals of the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Donovan, who is now 19-0 all-time in international competition following Tuesday’s victory, also directed the under-18 team to gold in the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in his first stint as a national team coach. He then led the under-19 team to a first-place finish in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.
His team this year went 5-0 in the tournament, defeating America’s opponents by an average of 52.2 points per game. Donovan’s three United States national teams combined have won their 19 games by an average of 43.7 points.
“I’m just honored,” Donovan said after the gold medal win. “I think that as a coach in this kind of event, you’re only as good as your players. I’ve been very fortunate that in the past three years; I’ve coached some great guys, great kids, and have had some great coaches working with me. These guys were unbelievable to deal with. They bought in, they listened, and they’re the ones who really played well. I’m just happy I could be a part of it and be taken along for the ride.”
USA set four national records in its opening game including most points scored (156), largest margin of victory (98 points), most field goals made (59) and most assists (40) in a 156-58 win over Uruguay.
The Americans then topped Mexico 100-46 and finished out the preliminary round with a 118-64 victory against Argentina. The United States edged the Dominican Republic 90-56 in the semifinals on Monday before winning gold on Tuesday.
As a top-four finisher, USA Basketball has qualified for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship next summer. It is unknown whether Donovan will return as coach. In 2013, he led the United States to its fifth-ever under-19 title and first since 1991.
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) June 25, 2014