In an electrifying gold medal showdown at the U25 World Championship in Bangkok, Thailand, the United States emerged triumphant over Great Britain, securing their third world title in this age category. The match, which took place on Monday 9 October 2023 at the Bangkok Youth Center, was a thrilling display of wheelchair basketball excellence.
From the opening tip-off, the USA asserted their dominance on both ends of the court, displaying exceptional teamwork, precision, and unyielding determination. Great Britain, however, was not to be underestimated, fighting valiantly to keep the contest close.
The first quarter saw the United States establish an early lead, showcasing their offensive prowess and tenacious defense. Great Britain, though, managed to keep the deficit manageable with their resilience and well-executed plays keeping the score within six points, 16-10.
The second quarter was a testament to Great Britain’s competitive spirit, as they mounted a brief comeback, narrowing the gap in the scoreline. The game’s midpoint featured a determined effort from the British side, putting the USA on notice and bringing it back to a three-point game, 31-28.
However, the third quarter witnessed the United States reaffirm their control, extending their lead with crisp ball movement and unrelenting defense. Great Britain continued to battle, but the American team’s cohesion and individual performances were a force to be reckoned with.
The fourth quarter brought forth a resounding statement from the USA, as they surged ahead, winning the quarter 25-11 to secure their gold medal. Their performance was highlighted by USA’s trio: Ixhelt Gonzalez led the charge with a double-double of 26 points and 11 rebounds, Bailey Moody was equally impressive, contributing 24 points, while Josie Dehart added 20 points to solidify their victory.
On the Great Britain side, Jade Atkin showcased her scoring ability with a team-leading 16 points, but it was not enough to overcome the USA’s relentless play.
This victory marks the United States’ third U25 World Championship title, a testament to their sustained excellence and commitment to wheelchair basketball. Great Britain’s commendable performance demonstrated their determination and spirit in the face of a formidable opponent.
The U25 World Championship in Bangkok, Thailand, will be remembered as a showcase of the world’s finest young female talent in wheelchair basketball.