The USA Women’s National Basketball 3×3 team, assisted by Ashley Jones of Iowa, kicked off the 2022 Basketball 3×3 World Cup with back-to-back wins on Wednesday.
After a historic Hurricane season in 2022, Jones was ready to take her talents to the world stage. Although competing for NBA was nothing new for Goins, she had appeared twice before.
Jones earned gold medals as a member of the FIBA Under-18 Americas Team and FIBA Under-19 World Cup Team in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Its success also extended to Iowa, where it emerged from the 2021-22 season as the first Hurricane ever to be selected for a WBCA All-America team.
With Jones arriving in Europe over the weekend, she immediately began preparing for the upcoming World Cup. Overall, Team USA got good actors while in France, where they took part in the International Big Twelve Tournament.
The team finished the tournament with four wins, and scored victories against Italy, Great Britain and New Zealand. The final win against New Zealand gave them a good idea of how to handle the first game of the Basketball World Cup, as they face New Zealand in their opening match on Wednesday.
Team USA’s only loss of the tournament came to Portugal on day one. The team finished strong throughout the final days of the tournament, finishing with just one loss.
The team as a whole was rehearsing heavily to work as a unit during the tournament, with Lauren Cox shutting down the defense to give Jones opportunities to score outside.
After the trip to France, Jones – all-time Hurricanes scorer and two-time winner of Sheryl Miller – started her trip to Belgium early against the New Zealand national team. Although Jones was quiet in that game, putting up one point and four rebounds, Team USA took a quick 19-14 win.
Yoens explained why she was chosen for the national team in the next match against Austria. In the 14-11 loss, it looked as if Austria had wrapped the match up.
However, Team USA did not stop the fight and came back to win 18-16. Jones tied for the most points on her team by six, along with Hailey Van Leith, and had five rebounds to boot.
Joens had a 3-pointer — or 2-pointer in a 3×3 competition — called, making the only two shots from outside the arc for Team USA to secure a win for her team. The win led to Team USA winning 2-0 in pool, to lead Group B alongside France.
Team USA will conclude its pool game Friday morning against Brazil and France. After Friday’s games, Team USA will enter the playoffs over the weekend to determine the tournament winner.