U.S. Women Win First-Ever 3-on-3 Basketball Gold Medal at Olympics
Photo Credit: Bob Strong/UPI/Shutterstock
A team of women from the U.S. made history on Wednesday when they took home the inaugural gold medal in the debut of 3-on-3 basketball at the Olympics.
The team, composed of Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum, and Jackie Young, beat the Russian Olympic Committee team in an 18-15 victory. All four players are part of the WNBA, playing for the Chicago Sky, Dallas Wings, and Las Vegas Aces, respectively.
"We fought really hard to get here and to win this game. We've been through a lot," said Dolson in her postgame interview, as per NBC Sports. "So I'm just really, really happy."
Prior to their game against the ROC, the foursome won their first six games and lost a match against Japan in the final contest of pool play; they beat France in the semifinals with an 18-16 lead and then went on to take the ROC to win the gold.
Notably, the U.S. team roster initially didn't include Young, who reportedly left her vacation to join the team just one week before its first game because Katie Lou Samuelson had tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, Young hadn't played in the 3x3 format since 2019.
So, upon Samuelson being sidelined and replaced by Young, Dolson told USA Today that there "were some scary moments when we heard about it."
"But when we found out Jackie was coming – she’s an amazing defender, she can pass the ball, she has great composure, and she (showed) all that," she said, before adding that Young "made it here on her own hard work and dedication."
Dolson also recalled that the team "practiced plays the first day she got here" and "the fact she was able to get on board so quickly and learn our system, just props to her on that."
As for Young, she seems to still be in shock from the whole ordeal.
"It’s crazy to think about,” Young told the publication. “Ten days ago, I was on vacation. My life changed like that. Now I’m a gold-medalist. It’s crazy how things work out."
This post is part of a series covering the talented female athletes competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Stay up to date on their latest achievements and watch them go for gold here.