By: Aaron Nikhamin (Correspondent)
Two thousand nineteen was not a good year for the Men’s USA FIBA basketball team. From injuries to barely any all star power, Team USA were not as dominant last year as they have been in the past.
For the first time in 13 summers, America did not win gold at the FIBA World Cup that took place in China last September. Injuries had a large role in Team USA’s unsuccessful performance. Also, many big name all stars declined the offer to participate this year, putting a strain on the team.
Highschool freshman Marco Graca talks about why all the big name all stars didn’t participate this year for Team USA. “They wanted to focus on the regular season and winning the championship. They didn’t want to injure themselves or cause anything that would make them miss time at all in the regular season so they could make it deeper into the playoffs and they could have a better seeding.
Freshman Sam Chateauneuf says that Team USA could’ve had a better roster this year. “Yes I definitely think there could’ve been a better roster for Team USA. I think this year’s squad definitely had a lot less star power than Team USA usually does. The NBA is the best basketball league in the world, it definitely has the most talent and I think Team USA could’ve had a better shot if they had more stars on their team,” Chateauneuf said.
Chateanueuf adds that Paul George’s injury affected the team earlier in the decade. “I think Paul Georges horrific leg injury earlier in the decade definitely had an impact on star players decisions to join Team USA because they want to avoid injury so they can save their health for the NBA season.”
Freshman David Bai says the age of the young athletes have also affected the team. “It really hindered the growth of the team as it hindered the ball movement and the overall teamwork of the team because you have all of these young players who don’t work together very well due to lack of experience. So there should have been more veterans to help all the young players work better together.”
“I think next year’s Team USA will be better because all of the younger players will mature and do way better in the next tournament because they will have better leadership and be more experienced. Also next year is the Olympics and not FIBA and all the superstars will want to participate more,” Bai concluded.
Freshman Jackson Kaye says the Team has the chance to perform better next year and the upcoming years. “I think Team USA will do better because the players that played last year or last time will be more experienced and they will have better skills and it will help them win next year’s tournament,” Kaye said.