For the second-straight summer, Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan has led USA Basketball to a gold medal as the United States defeated Serbia 82-68 in the finals of the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic.
Donovan, who is now 14-0 all-time in international competition following Sunday’s victory, also directed the under-18 team to gold in the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship last summer in São Sebastião do Paraíso, Brazil.
He led the under-18 team to a 5-0 record last year and the under-19 team to a 9-0 record this summer. Donovan’s teams have defeated opponents by an average of 39.9 points per game over the 14 contests and 40.7 points per game during the nine contests in this year’s world championships alone.
“I’m very humbled and honored that USA Basketball wanted me to represent our country and coach this team. To be a part of this and be a part of a group of guys that won it [is special],” he said after the game.
The Americans, which captured their fifth under-19 title in the history of the tournament, won just their second since 1991.
“It was really an incredible collection of guys that totally sacrificed to get a gold medal,” Donovan said. “It was a great learning lesson, I think, for them in life but also for me as a coach just being a part of that just to see that so much can be accomplished when everybody is in it for all the right reasons.
“I think these guys really wanted to win a gold medal because they knew of the history with this age group for our country. We haven’t done very well. And for a lot of good reasons, too. With the NBA Draft and summer school, it has been hard.”
Joining Donovan on the gold-medal winning team were three other members of the Florida basketball program – rising sophomore guard Michael Frazier II, trainer Dave Werner, assistant to the head coach Mark Daigneault and rising senior G Billy Donovan, who did not play but rather worked as a team manager.
Frazier, who made the squad out of training camp as a three-point specialist, struggled at times during the tournament but had his most efficient game in a 100-60 semifinal victory against defending champion Lithuania when he grabbed three rebounds and went 3-for-6 from the field (3-for-4 from three) for nine points.
He also scored 15 points (on 4-of-11 shooting from downtown) in the United States’ 113-57 preliminary round win over China and 12 points each in a 115-47 preliminary round victory over Russia and a 109-67 quarterfinal win against Canada.
Frazier averaged 6.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in 16.8 minutes per game while shooting 32.4 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from beyond the arc during the world championships. He went 0-for-2 and did not score in the gold medal game but grabbed six boards and dished an assist in 15 minutes on Sunday.
Photo Credit: FIBA