CAIRO – Following their Semi-Final upset over the Basketball giant that is the United States, Team Canada’s U19 Basketball team captured the attention of Basketball fans all across the country, however they still had work to be done to achieve their ultimate goal of earning their first ever Gold Medal at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup.
Their opponent would be an Italian team that pulled off an impressive victory of their own, coming back from an 11-point deficit against Spain to defeat them by a score of 66 to 63.
Although Italy would have momentum of their own following their strong win over the Spaniards, it did not seem to equal to the confidence that the Canadians had following their victory over the Americans, breaking their 23-game winning streak that they had previously set at the U19 Basketball World Cup.
Canada would pick up right where they left off from the night before, routing Italy by a score of 79-60, to capture it’s first ever Gold Medal at the tournament.
Halifax native Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State) was absent in both the Quarter-Finals and the Semi’s against the United States due to a concussion, however did play in the Gold Medal game for Canada, and did not seem to be rusty at all. Canada’s captain had 9 points.
Following his 38-point performance, Mississauga Ontario’s R.J Barrett (Montverde Academy) would once again be a force for the Canadians. Barrett had a game-high 18 points, shooting the ball with excellent efficiently from the line shooting 85% (12/14 FT’s), but also contributing elsewhere in the stat-sheet tallying 3 assists as well as 12 rebounds.
St. Catharines own Abu Kigab (Oregon) would continue his strong play as he would get a double-double, scoring 12 points with 10 rebounds.
Aside from the final score, Canada would dominate Italy in all faces of the game such as rebounds (71-48), Bench Points (40-27), and also Points in the Paint (40-22).
Following the final buzzer, Barrett would win MVP becoming the tournament’s most outstanding player, joining the likes of NBA talent such as Aaron Gordon and Jonas Valanciunas. He would also join Abu Kigab as part of the Tournaments All-Star five, joining the best players in the tournament.