USA basketball has been the most dominant international program for decades, from the U16 team to the national team they have consistently taken home gold in competitions.
However, this weekend in the semifinals of the FIBA U19 World Cup, held in Egypt, the USA U19 men’s team was taken down by R.J. Barrett and team Canada, who then went on to defeat Italy in the gold medal game.
Barrett was dominant in his performance that resulted in 38 points to go along with 13 rebounds and 5 assists in the upset win over the USA, a team that featured some of the nation’s best high school and collegiate players.
After averaging 21.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, Barrett was named Most Valuable Player of the World Cup, and with the victories over the USA and Italy, Canada captured its first gold medal in basketball at any level of international competition.
[youtube video=”i8tg0HVRmRA” /]
Barrett is a native of Mississauga, Ontario but attends Montverde Academy, a prep basketball power in Florida whose list of alumni includes the likes of Ben Simmons and D’Angelo Russell.
As the No. 1 player in his class, Barrett is being recruited by many of the elite college basketball programs in the country. Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and UCLA have unsurprisingly already extended offers.
And with a growing crop of NBA players, including a young star in Andrew Wiggins the future of Canada Basketball has the potential to be bright.
Sam Forencich/National Basketball Association/Getty Images