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Gallaudet Coach Kovacs, student-athletes lead Team USA to gold in U21 World Deaf Basketball Championship

Team USA Men's U21 Basketball Team Celebrates its 2018 World Deaf Basketball Championship. The team stands on a podium with their hands raised holding a trophy. The team is happy.

WASHINGTON - Team USA capped off a dominating U21 World Deaf Basketball Championship performance here Saturday evening with a 81-63 victory over Japan in the gold medal game here on Padden Court in the Field House on the campus of Gallaudet University.

Team USA went a perfect 7-0 in the eight-day tournament that featured 10 teams from all across the globe. The teams consisted of Australia, Canada, Greece, Israel, Japan, Lithiania, Poland, Spain, Ukraine and USA.

Gallaudet men's basketball head coach Kevin Kovacs led the red, white and blue through the tournament as Team USA averaged 98.4 points per game and allowed only 42.6 points per game. Team USA's average scoring margin was 55.9 points per game. In the quarterfinals, Team USA won by 103 points over Canada, 126-23, and got by Spain, 78-73, in the semifinal round.

Gallaudet rising junior Noah Valencia (Riverside, Calif.) was a starter in the backcourt for Team USA. In the gold medal game, he scored seven points, grabbed five rebounds and made two steals.

GU rising sophomores Wilford Troup (Snellville, Ga.) and Esau Zornoza (Pleasanton, Calif.) added two points in the final game of the tournament. Incoming freshman, John Werner, Jr., added five points and two assists.

Team USA had a pair of players record double-doubles against Japan. Tajah Fraley scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds while Rogers Printup tallied 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Japan was led by Kazuma Mitsui, who scored a game-high 38 points and ended the tournament with a 31.1 points per game average.

Team USA Results
7/14: USA 81, Japan 63 (Gold Medal)
7/13: USA 78, Spain 73 (Semifinal)
7/12: USA 126, Canada 23 (Quarterfinal)
7/11: USA 113, Lithuania 39
7/10: USA 93, Ukraine 48
7/09: USA 95, Australia 28
7/07: USA 103, Israel 24

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