COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland sophomore forward Kevin Huerter led the USA U19 men’s basketball team to a 96-72 win over Spain Sunday en route to earning the bronze medal in the 2017 FIBA World Cup in Cairo, Egypt.
Huerter connected on two of his four field goal attempts and added four points and five rebounds in the victory over Spain. The Clifton Park. N.Y. native also added eight points and four assists in a preliminary round win over eventual silver medalist Italy and tied a team high with five assists along with four points and four rebounds in a opening tournament win over Iran.
Spain, which won its first five games and advanced to the semifinals in the tournament, was represented by Terps’ redshirt freshman forward Joshua Tomaic (Lanzarote, Canary Islands). Tomaic posted seven points, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal in Spain’s 70-58 quarterfinal win over Argentina. He also had 10 points and seven rebounds in a win over 78-73 victory over Canada in the preliminary rounds. The aforementioned Canadian team earned gold medal honors in the 2017 FIBA World Cup. In the bronze medal game against the United States, Tomaic concluded his tournament play with nine points, six rebounds and three steals.
As for the USA team, Huerter’s consistent play helped lead his squad to victories in its first five games in addition to being lauded for his overall play by Head Coach John Calipari (Kentucky) after USA’s 81-59 win over Germany in the quarterfinals.
“The minute you put Kevin in — he makes everyone around him better on offense and defense,” Calipari said. “And that team will go on a spurt, and he’s done that for five games now.”
USA and Spain were the lone teams to boast undefeated records heading into its semifinal matchups. However, USA lost to Canada, 99-87 while Spain fell to Italy, 66-63.
Huerter was also a member of the USA U18 team in 2016 that swept through the FIBA World Cup in Chile to claim the gold medal. Huerter was joined at that tournament by Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon, who served as an assistant coach on the gold medal team.