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Gallaudet student-athletes and alumni lead Team USA to gold in Pan American Basketball Tournament

Gallaudet student-athletes and alumni lead Team USA to gold in Pan American Basketball Tournament

FREDERICK, Md. - Team USA was victorious here Wednesday night as it defeated Argentina, 97-53, in the gold medal game of the 2016 Pan American Deaf Basketball Tournament hosted by Maryland School for the Deaf.

Former Gallaudet all-conference performer Robert Haney, Jr. led all scorers with 16 points while Raymond Nelson (Riverside, Calif.), a rising senior for the Bison men's basketball program, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Nelson scored 14 points on 7 of 9 shooting from the field and added five rebounds, four steals, two assists and one block in 24 minutes played.

Team USA jumped out to a 25-11 lead after the first quarter and went into halftime with a 44-25 advantage. The red, white and blue pulled away from Argentina in the second half outscoring them 30-13 in the third quarter and 53-28 in the final 20 minutes of play.

Former GU standout Trey Gordon chipped in 15 points and Noah Valencia scored 12 off the bench.

Venezuela defeated Canada, 85-63, in the bronze medal game. The USA, Argentina and Venezuela secured spots in the 2017 Deaflympics with their performances this past week at the Pan American Basketball Tournament.

Team USA advanced to the gold medal game after it defeated Canada, 124-40, in the semifinals. Rising senior Joshua McGriff (Somerset, N.J.) scored a game-high 23 points while former Bison Frank Jackson scored 19 points and Nelson added 16. 

McGriff along with incoming freshman Preston Kelly were named to the all-tournament team.

Gallaudet was well represented on Team USA as current men's basketball head coach Kevin Kovacs served as an assistant coach alongside former Gallaudet head coach James DeStefano, who was the head coach of Team USA. GU graduate Mike Yance also served as an assistant coach.

Current Bison on the team include McGriff, Nelson, Andy Cruz (Bronx, N.Y.) and Shawn Harrington (Frederick, Md.). Former Bison on Team USA include Haney, Jackson, Gordon, Jeremias Valencia, Orion Palmer and Layton Seeber.

Box Scores (PDF)