Kapono Starts, Contributes Six Points in World Championship For Young Men
July 26, 2001
DALLAS - Leading from start to finish, the USA WorldChampionship For Young Men Team put together a dominating performance intheir first exhibition game as all 13 team members scored between four and13 points, including UCLA junior Jason Kapono who started and contributed six points, in the USA's 113-66 drubbing of Lithuania on Wednesday night atSouthern Methodist University's Moody Coliseum.
University of Kansas forward Nick Collison (Iowa Falls, Iowa) scored whenthe game was 26 seconds old and the USA steamrolled Lithuania from thatpoint on. With Carlos Boozer (Duke / Juneau, Alaska) accounting for fiveof the USA's first 17 points, the USA opened up a 17-8 advantage with 5:55to play in the first quarter. Lithuania rallied to cut the gap to 22-19with 2:30 left in the opening period, but the USA, behind 3-pointers fromDahntay Jones (Duke / Hamilton Square, N.J.), Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph's /Philadelphia, Pa.) and Maurice Taylor (Michigan State / Lansing, Mich.),closed things out by posting a 13-6 run to take command 35-25 at the end ofone.
The United States' lead stood at 60-39 at halftime, and after outscoringLithuania 30-11 in the third stanza, the USA lead was 90-50 after threequarters. Continuing its offensive roll, the U.S. went on to earn the113-66 win.
While the U.S. presented a balanced scoring attack that saw all 13 teammembers score, the offensive scoring honors went to Troy Bell (BostonCollege / Minneapolis, Minn.) and Boozer who finished with 13 points each,Caron Butler (Connecticut / Racine, Wis.) had 11 points, while Jones andTaylor each finished with 10 points. Along with his six points, including 1-3 from three-point range, in 15 minutes as a starter, Kapono also contributed one steal.
As a team, the Americans shot 54.4 percent (43-79 FGs) from the flooroverall, including 8-of-16 from 3-point range. The U.S. outreboundedLithuania 35 to 17 and forced Lithuania into 20 turnovers. Lithuania shota meager 40.8 percent (20-49 FGs) from the field, and just 1-of-8 from3-point.
The 13 finalists for the USA team are currently in Dallas, Texas, trainingfor the 2001 FIBA World Championship For Young Men that will be played Aug.3-12 in Saitama, Japan. The official 12-man U.S. team is expected to beannounced on Friday, July 27 following completion of the team's training inDallas. The USA squad will then conclude its domestic training July 27-30in Oakland, Calif.
The Americans will meet Yugoslavia's 22-year-old and under national teamThursday (July 26) night in an 8 p.m. (CDT) game to be played at SouthernMethodist University's Moody Coliseum.
The USA World Championship For Young Men Team will compete August 3-12 inSaitama, Japan, in the 2001 FIBA World Championship for Young MenTournament. Featuring 12 teams that have been divided into two preliminaryround pools consisting of six teams each, the United States is in Pool Bwith Argentina, Croatia, Israel, Japan and South Korea. The six teamscomprising preliminary Pool A include Australia, Dominican Republic, Egypt,Qatar, Slovenia and Spain. The USA opens competition on Aug. 3 facingCroatia, then meets South Korea on Aug. 4, Argentina on Aug. 5, Japan onAug. 7 and the U.S. squad concludes preliminary play against Israel on Aug.8. Tournament quarterfinals play gets underway Aug. 10, with semifinalsbeing conducted Aug. 11 and the medal games being held Aug. 12.
Held every four years and originally designed for men 22-years-old oryounger, FIBA lowered the age eligibility to 21-years-old or younger inDecember 1998 and changed the competition name to the World ChampionshipFor Young Men. The U.S. captured gold in the inaugural competition whichwas held in 1993 in Spain and known as the FIBA 22 And Under WorldChampionship, and in 1997 in Melbourne, Australia, finished fifth with a6-2 record.