U.S. women win first gold medal in 3-on-3 hoops

TOKYO — Their scrapbooks and trophy cases are filled with memories from Final Fours, national titles, All-America honors and even some impressive showings in the pros.

Now, they all have Olympic gold medals to go with all that.

The U.S. team of Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young took an early lead against the Russian Olympic Committee team, then held on for an 18-15 victory Wednesday to win the title in the debut of 3-on-3 basketball at the Olympics.

Later on Wednesday, ROC played Latvia for the men’s title. Bronze medals went to China’s women and Serbia’s men.

Much as they did in the final, the Americans dominated through most of the five-day tournament. They played nine games and only lost one. Plum, the all-time leading scorer in NCAA history, led the way in this one, as well, scoring 55 points over the nine games. She scored all five of her points in the final early to stake the U.S. to a lead it never relinquished.

All four players are in the midst of successful WNBA careers. Of the four, Plum is the only one who didn’t win a national title in college. This seems like much more than a consolation prize.

When it was over, she got in a hug huddle with her teammates, then they made it over to the stands for a visit with IOC president Thomas Bach.

U.S. first lady Jill Biden was at the Aomi Urban Sports Park for the opener last weekend.

Yes, this foursome, which came together only over the past couple of months and overcame the late loss of Katie Lou Samuelson to a positive COVID-19 test, are part of the see-and-be-seen crowd in Tokyo.

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