Join the Badger conversation on Facebook! Go to our Facebook page and "like" us!
For more Badger sports news, notes and discussion, especially on game day, follow Badger Nation on Twitter @TheBadgerNation
MADISON - As if his trophy case wasn’t full enough, Sam Dekker can add a gold medal to his growing list of accomplishments.
The Wisconsin-bound forward from Sheboygan Area Lutheran chipped in seven points in 14 minutes off the bench to help the U.S. U18 team win the gold medal over host Brazil, 81-56, in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Sao Sebastiao Dos Paraiso, Brazil Wednesday.
The gold medal marked the end to a tournament Team USA dominated, winning every game by an average of 38.6 points per game and beating Brazil twice by average of 22 pts.
Despite battling a foot injury throughout the tournament, Dekker shot 38.8 percent in four games for Team USA, averaging five points, two rebounds and 11.25 minutes.
It’s the third high honor Dekker has received in three months. After leading Sheboygan Lutheran to a state championship and averaging 35.2 points per game in his senior year, Dekker earned Wisconsin's Mr. Basketball award. In the championship game, Dekker scored 40 points – putting him alone in fourth place on the state high school boys’ all-time scoring list - and hit the game-winning 3-pointer with two seconds left to pull out a 67-66 win for Lutheran's first WIAA state title.
Led by two-time national champion Florida coach Billy Donovan, Team USA. brought home the country's sixth U18 FIBA Championships gold medal. USA men's teams are now 43-2 overall in the FIBA Americas U18 Championships (formerly known as the Junior World Championship Qualifier), and have captured gold in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010 and 2012 while winning a silver in 2008 and a bronze medal in 2002.