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Juju Watkins, US U17 national team win gold at FIBA World Cup

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The USA U17 national team celebrates after defeating Spain 84-62 at the FIBA World Cup in Debrecen, Hungary. (Photo courtesy of FIBA)

Team USA’s U17 team won its fifth FIBA U17 World Cup title with a 84-62 win over Spain on Sunday in Debrecen, Hungary, with Juju Watkins being named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

They’ve now won five out of six titles, adding to their hardware from 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018. Jaloni Cambridge led the U.S. with 16 points, nine assists and six rebounds and was named to the All-Star Five, while Breya Cunningham had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the final.

Watkins, one of the top recruits in the class of 2023, averaged 13.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Her points total led the star-studded Team USA squad. She was particularly good against Japan, going 10-for-15, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range, for a total of 25 points alongside nine rebounds and two assists.

The U.S. took a 24-13 lead in the first quarter and, despite a hard push from Spain, were able to keep the lead.

It’s Spain’s third silver medal, having previously won silver in 2012 and 2014.

France took bronze, upending Canada in an 84-82 thriller behind a 28-point, 17-rebound performance from Dominique Malonga, who was also named to the All-Star Five.

Full Knockout round Score Recap:

Friday July 15:

  • Australia 51, Spain 62
  • France 63, Germany 40
  • Hungary 49, Canada 70
  • Japan 38, USA 112

Saturday July 16:

  • Spain 66, France 59
  • Canada 57, USA 87

Sunday July 17:

  • Canada 82, France 84
  • USA 84, Spain 62