Turner Thorne helps lead USA Basketball U21 World Championship Team to Gold Medal
July 8, 2007
Moscow Region, Russia - The 2007 USA Basketball U21 World Championship Team (8-0) held off a late Australia (6-2) comeback for a 96-73 gold medal victory on Sunday evening at the FIBA U21 World Championship in Moscow.
University of Maryland center/forward Crystal Langhorne had a double-double of 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead five U.S. players against Australia. Also scoring in double figures for the U.S. were Jolene Anderson (University of Wisconsin), DeWanna Bonner (Auburn University) and Candice Wiggins (Stanford University), who each had 14 points and Essence Carson (Rutgers University), who added 12 points.
Arizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne and Furman University head coach Sam Dixon served as assistant coaches the on USA Basketball U21 World Championship Team, which was led by Duke University head coach Joanne P. McCallie.
'I'm ecstatic,' said Turner Thorne following the victory. 'I think it was about a 28-day venture and it was a really incredible experience for my first time with USA Basketball. I feel really blessed because there were some incredible people to work with. I think this bodes very well for our U.S. Olympic Team because we are going to have some changeover and this young group has pretty much been undefeated in the last three, four years. It is going to be exciting to watch them and maybe I'll get to work with them again.'
This age group (players born on or after Jan. 1, 1986) closes out its FIBA age-based competition with four gold medals and an undefeated mark of 26-0 in official FIBA and FIBA Americas tournaments after capturing the 2004 FIBA Americas U18 Championship (5-0), 2005 FIBA U19 World Championship (8-0) and 2006 FIBA Americas U20 Championship (5-0). Additionally, they won gold at the 2005 International Sports Invitational (4-0), earned a 3-0 slate in exhibition play against France this year and split a pair of games against Hungary prior to the `05 U19 Worlds.
Prior to arriving in Russia, the USA spent one week training in France and completed a three-game sweep against the French U21 World Championship Team. On June 18 the USA won in Monte Carlo, Monaco, (82-59), on June 19 in Antibes the score was 81-68 and on June 21 the series concluded in La Garde with the USA on top 71-57.