Kemba Walker FIBA Americas Tournament MVP

Kemba Walker, a 6-foot-1, 172 pound combo guard from Rice High School in New York City, gathered in another trophy before he heads to UConn for the 08-09 season. Last week, Walker was named the MVP of the FIBA Americas tournament in which the USA U18 squad lost their only game, 77-64, to host Argentina in the championship matchup.

The USA squad had topped Venezuela, 82-73; the Bahamas, 115-61; and, Puerto Rico, 106-64 to earn a spot in the semifinals, where they topped Canada, 82-66.

The gold medal game was played before a partisan, standing-room only crowd whose energies helped propel Argentina to a 20-11 early lead and a halftime margin of 35-28.

The U.S.A. cut the second half deficit to five, 39-34, but was unable to get any closer as Argentina answered any charge with one of their own.

Kemba Walker led all scorers with 21 points and added seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in 36 minutes of play.

JaMychal Green posted a double-double with 10 points and a game-best 14 rebounds. Malcolm Lee added 13 points and Travis Releford scored 12 points.

Walker averaged 13.4 points, 5.0 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals throughout the five-game event. Asked to sum up his international play experience, which started on July 1st and ended 17 days later, Walker said:

    "I think we did a pretty good job. We made it to the championship, we played as a team throughout the whole tournament. To be together 18 days, I think we did an excellent job. That team's been together for two years and they outplayed us. But we're going to come back next year and try to get it done."

The other NYC area player on the national team, rising senior shooting guard Dominic Cheek from St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, N.J., had five points and five boards in 18 minutes of the finale. He averaged 5.2 points and 2.4 rebounds.

The USA U18 FIBA Americas record is now 33-2. Canada took the bronze medal via an 83-68 win over Puerto Rico.

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