The U.S. women’s 3-on-3 basketball team made history Wednesday as it won the Olympics gold medal in the new event.
The quartet of Jackie Young, Kelsey Plum, Stefanie Dolson and Allisha Gray won gold against the Russian Olympic Committee in Tokyo, 18-15, in the debut of 3-on-3 basketball at the Summer Games. Dolson, who plays for the Chicago Sky in the WNBA, led with 7 points.
“It is incredible,” Dolson said, via NPR. “Basketball runs deep in the USA and to pull this off and win gold is incredible.”
The inclusion of 3-on-3 basketball led to fast-paced games throughout the tournament, and the U.S. squad dropped just one game. They knocked off France, 18-16, in the semifinal to book a place in the final.
The winner is decided by whichever team reaches 21 points first, or whichever squad is leading after 10 minutes. Both teams try to score on the same basket on a smaller court than traditional basketball, resembling a pick-up game.
The U.S. team’s four players all play in the WNBA. Young and Plum play for the Las Vegas Aces and Gray plays for the Dallas Wings. Dolson added nine rebounds to her team-high 7 points. Plum scored 5 points, Gray provided 4 points and five rebounds and Young chipped in 2 points and three rebounds.
Scoring in 3-on-3 basketball, similar to pick-up styles, revolves around ones and twos — with anything beyond the arc counting as 2 points rather than 3 points in 5-on-5 basketball.
The U.S. men’s squad didn’t qualify for the Olympics.