Saturday, July 13, 2024

JJ Mandaquit, Team USA sweep way to FIBA U17 World Cup championship

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Team USA continued its all-time perfection in the FIBA Under 17 World Cup. JJ Mandaquit’s run with the men’s basketball junior national team also remained unblemished.

With the Hawaii native Mandaquit flourishing as a distributor, the U.S. rolled to a seventh championship in seven editions of the event with a 129-88 win over Italy in the gold medal game in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sunday.


What You Need To Know

  • Former Iolani School basketball standout JJ Mandaquit continued to excel on the U.S. junior national team circuit this week as he helped Team USA to the gold medal with a rout of Italy in the final of the FIBA Men’s U17 World Cup in Istanbul, Turkey
  • Mandaquit started all seven games at point guard and averaged 6.6 points and 6.0 assists in the role as a distributor for a roster loaded with talent
  • The U.S. improved to 50-0 all time in games at the FIBA U17 World Cup and won gold for the seventh time in seven iterations of the event
  • Mandaquit, a rising senior at the Utah Prep Academy, has yet to announce his college destination from a bevy of Division I scholarship offers

Mandaquit, a former Iolani School standout and a rising senior at the Utah Prep Academy, followed up a successful Team USA debut last summer at the U16 FIBA Americas in Mexico. Over the last week-plus, he averaged 6.6 points, 6.0 assists, 2.1 steals and 2.0 turnovers in 17.7 minutes while starting all seven games of the World Cup.

“Stamped forever. 2x,” Mandaquit wrote on his Instagram story.

In the final, the 6-foot-1 point guard was scoreless but had command of his squad’s offense with 10 assists against one turnover while collecting three steals.

In the opening minutes, Mandaquit helped set the tone for a U.S. highlight reel. He stole a ball in the open court and went behind the back on a pass to big man AJ Dybantsa for a slam.

For the tournament, Mandaquit shot 44.4% from the field, 21.1% on 3-pointers and 66.7% on free throws. His most productive game overall was an 18-point, eight-assist outburst against New Zealand in the semifinals.

The U.S. has never been beaten in the FIBA Men’s U17 World Cup. It improved to 50-0 all-time, and its average margin of victory this week was over 64 points per game.

Cameron Boozer, the son of former NBA forward Carlos Boozer, was named MVP of the event after putting up 24 points and 13 rebounds in the final.

Brian McInnis covers the state’s sports scene for Spectrum News Hawaii. He can be reached at brian.mcinnis@charter.com.

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