Chicago's Stefanie Dolson, Team USA Win Historic Gold in 3x3 Women's Basketball Debut
TOKYO - Chicago Sky's Stefanie Dolson and Team USA made history Wednesday, defeating Russia 18-15 to earn the first-ever gold medal in Olympic 3x3 basketball history.
Dolson led USA in points (7) and rebounds (9) in the gold-medal game. The two-time WNBA All-Star center also averaged the sixth-most points per game (5.7) amongst all scorers in the tournament. In addition, the University of Connecticut product also recorded the second-best shooting percentage (69.0%) and was third overall in defensive rebounds per game (3.7) across tournament play.
"This morning we were so excited, so we were able to take a break from practice and FaceTimed her," Chicago Sky head coach and general manager James Wade said. "Everybody just spread their love to her, and we showed her how much she has been on our minds and in our hearts, and how important that winning a gold medal is not only for herself and for her family, but also for us as part of her basketball family."
Under coach Kara Lawson (Duke University), the WNBA-quartet of Dolson (Chicago Sky), Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces), Jackie Young (Las Vegas Aces), and Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings) helped Team USA secure its 11th gold medal through the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
"It is incredible," Dolson said. "Basketball runs deep in the USA so for us to come here, prove ourselves, and pull this off to win gold is incredible. To show everyone that we are on just the same level is really special. We don't know what's down the road, but we hope that we've started some type of dynasty with 3-on-3 and that this is just the beginning."
As a team, the USA was first overall in six statistical categories, including points per game (19.1), defensive rebounds (12.2 rpg) and 1-point shooting percentage (62.0%).
"To win this one for my country and for the U.S. is something that I've wanted for a long time," Dolson said. "To be able to accomplish it is really special."
After defeating France and Mongolia on Saturday, the USA beat Romania and Russia on Sunday, then Italy and China on Monday. While the USA's lone loss came against Japan in the final group game, the squad still secured a bye to the semifinals match. That match took place earlier in the evening on Wednesday, and the USA outlasted France for a 18-16 semifinal victory to advance to the final.
"I think this is a special moment for our organization and for Stefanie," Wade said. "For her to go down as a staple as a first-time gold medalist in this event is only going to add to her legend as a basketball player for what she has accomplished and what she is going to accomplish."
For Chicago this season, Dolson has started all 14 of the Sky's games while averaging 7.9 points per game along with 3.6 rebounds per game.
The Sky return from its five-week Olympic break on Aug. 15 vs. the Seattle Storm.
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Women's National Basketball Association Stories from July 28, 2021
- JiSu Park's Double-Double Not Enough as South Korea Falls, 74-53, to Canada - Las Vegas Aces
- Chicago's Stefanie Dolson, Team USA Win Historic Gold in 3x3 Women's Basketball Debut - Chicago Sky
- Shatori Walker-Kimbrough Grants D.C. Family Back-To-School Shopping Spree at Tanger Outlets National Harbor - Washington Mystics
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