3 on 3 Boys Represented Well
Last week, we told you about Belize's Under 18 - 3 On 3 National Team making a big showing in the World basketball 3 on 3 championships in Seville, Spain.
The team turned heads when they defeated Poland and China, and almost making it to finals after being edged out by New Zealand, with whom they were tied for 3rd place in their pool.
It's an impressive performance for a team that almost couldn't find financial support to participate in the first place, and so, when the team came home today, we asked about the experiences.
Here's what they told us:
Brandon Flowers - Member, 3 On 3 National Team
"I did my part, and we just went out there and decided that we were going to beat one of the best teams. We came out victorious in the tournament. I contributed a lot to the team as well because I also made some big baskets to put the team up in situations whereby they were down. It was a great experience because I never knew I would have made it so far, but those guys were great. They gave us a competition, and we tried our best, but we couldn't defeat them. They were all great teams."
Akeem Watters - Member, 3 On 3 National Team
"My experience was not low; it was very high. I wasn't afraid because I had the experience before, so I was mentally prepared. For the team, we were all excited. After the game against China, we looked at the Chinese players, and they were holding their heads in disbelief, not understand what just happened. At first they didn't know about Belize. I told them, 'If you didn't know, now you do.' That's what I told them."
Brian White - Member, 3 On 3 National Team
"The tournament was great. I wanted to win all my games, but the size - we don't have the size, but we do have the speed over them. I think that next year, if we go back, we can do much better because we already experienced what it's like. We're going to hit the gym and do different stuff to be very competitive and make it hard for them to beat us."
"I know that you guys gave a performance defeating China and Poland, which turned heads at the international level because, here's a small country that no one knows about. Tell us what it's like to play basketball at a competitive level that is as high as theirs."
"Well, it is very great. To start off, it wasn't that hard to defeat them because they only had size over us. When it came to speed, it was very easy because if you gave them a head fake, they'll fall for it because they like to block given that they have the size over us. So, with our quickness, we beat them off the dribble very easily, so, it wasn't that hard to say, 'Oh, we defeated them.' But, we were the underdogs; everybody knew that because we were the smallest team in the competition. I knew that we were going to do great, even though we were smaller."
Matthew Smiling - Coach, 3 On 3 National Team
"It was very pleasing to me to know that we are not doing what people are doing in terms of preparation for these kinds of tournaments, and we still competed."
We note that the under 18 crew did better than the seniors who went to New York to play in a smaller tournament and did not manage to get a single win.