The United States 3x3 team celebrates after defeating the ROC in the gold-medal game in Tokyo. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

A year ago, a gold medal looked far off for Kelsey Plum, who was just taking her first steps post-operation after tearing her Achilles.

Cut to July 2021, and Plum and the rest of the Team USA 3×3 basketball team are celebrating their historic Olympic championship.

Plum reflected on her remarkable journey in a press conference following the team’s gold medal-winning game.

“I think coming off the Achilles makes it extra sweet,” she said.

She credited Team USA member and WNBA star Breanna Stewart with inspiring her during her recovery. Stewart suffered an Achilles injury in 2019 and made her way back to playing competitive basketball in 2020.

“I really was grateful I had someone that kind of paved the way for me,” said Plum.

The 3×3 gold medalist also appears to have taken celebration inspiration from Stewart.