Basketball is one of the biggest sports throughout the world, and several countries met this summer for the FIBA world basketball championship in Turkey.Twenty-four nations sent the best players they could assemble to represent their nation in an intercontinental competition that may only be surpassed by the Olympics.
There were some surprises in this year’s competitions. Lithuania moved on to the semifinals for the first time by hitting nine of their first 11 3-pointers against Argentina.
A comparatively undersized US team surprised many opponents by holding their own defensively, and winning without the star power that allowed them to dominate in the 2008 Olympics.
The more experienced teams weren’t able to contain the young and explosive Team USA. Even though the only returning member of the 2008’s “Redeem” Team was head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Veteran floor leaders Chauncey Billups and Lamar Odom, along with tournament MVP Kevin Durant, lead the young USA team.
Durant put on a dazzling performance by averaging 22.8 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game, and 1.4 steals per game.
The team’s youth and athleticism made every game into a high flying acrobatic showcase, which Durant demonstrated with a 38 point effort against previously unbeaten Lithuania.
In the final game of the Tournament team USA took on the host country Turkey, their four 7-footers, and star Hedo Turkoglu.
They made easy work of them, winning the game 84-62. This capped off their already perfect 7-0 record with that all important eighth win and bring the USA its first FIBA title since 1994.
Box scores, video, and photos of the FIBA 2010 World Championship can be found online at www.fiba.com.