Kyle Filipowski '22, USA win gold at U18 World Cup
Kyle Filipowski ’22 wears blue for the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Boys’ Basketball team, and he’ll wear blue next season when he plays at Duke University.
In late August, Kyle added a few colors to his uniform: red, white and blue.
Kyle scored a game-high nine points in a 21-14 win against Estonia to lead Team USA to the gold medal at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup in Hungary Aug. 24-29.
The USA repeated as champions at the annual event, which drew four-player teams from 18 countries. Kyle and his teammates went undefeated, cruising through three pool games before beating Lithuania, Belarus and Estonia in the knock-out round.
Quotes from Kyle
On why he wanted to play at the 3x3 World Cup
“Getting the opportunity to play for Team USA and represent my country, not everyone gets to do that. It’s a huge honor. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an experience like no other.”
On what it was like to represent the USA in a foreign country
“Going to another country, and how they look at the USA, and how I was able to show what we represent and what we stand for, that was pretty cool.”
On how 3x3 was different than 5x5
“The biggest change I had to adapt to was right after someone scored you had to play defense right away. There was no time to get back on defense or settle. Once the opposing team picked up the ball, you played defense right away.”
On basketball in Europe
“European basketball is definitely different than American basketball. The way they play the game, there’s a lot of moving around. You have to think more. You have to be two steps ahead of them in order to stay with them and still play your game. You couldn’t take any possessions off.”
On winning gold
“For USA, we had expectations. We weren’t settling for anything less than gold. That was our goal. That’s what we were there for. For the Olympics, basketball and other sports win gold almost every year. It was awesome to live up to those standards.”