Takeaways from the FIBA 3×3 AmeriCup 2022
After a three-day extravaganza from November 4 to 6, the FIBA 3×3 AmeriCup lived up to the anticipation.
A tremendous 3×3 powerhouse, Michelle Plouffe
There can be no doubt about it. Michelle Plouffe is the finest player in the world as she won the MVP award again and led Canada to victory. If you saw her dominating the Miami half-court, you wouldn’t need a rating to tell you that.
Unstoppable giant at 6 feet tall. The 6-ft. 3in (1.90m) standout dominated the paint and scored 32 points, enough for second place among women. In a dramatic semi-final game against the United States, who were loaded with WNBA players and the reigning champions, Plouffe was the hero of the show, scoring a game-high 8 points and adding 9 highlights and 7 rebounds to help Canada to an incredible come-from-behind win.
The 30-year-old kept going, scoring 9 points in the championship game as Canada defeated Brazil to finish up a remarkable 2022. After receiving the medal, Plouffe hung it around her neck and added it to the many other awards and honors she already had.
Barry and Maddox are the driving forces behind the United States’ three-peat as 3×3 champions.
The United States of America is under constant scrutiny whenever a basketball game is being played. The United States is once again the 3×3 world champion, but with a somewhat different lineup than last year.
All the way through, the United States of America had stiff competition, most notably from Mexico in the quarterfinals and Puerto Rico in the gold medal game.
Princeton’s Canyon Barry and Kareem Maddox scored a combined 62 points, but it was not enough to prevent defeat. NBA star Rick Barry’s son, MVP Barry, was scoring from all over the court, and big man ‘Reem’ was unstoppable as he drove to the basket.
After last year’s win and glory at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup 2018, the duo is beginning to rival Michael Phelps in golds.
Get ready for some “Jimmermania”
We’ve seen it in college and the NBA, but once Jimmer Fredette made his 3×3 debut in Miami, the city became the epicenter of “Jimmermania.” And the 33-year-old didn’t let down his army of admirers by failing to deliver, scoring 26 points to demonstrate his ability to dominate play in the half court.
Fredette brought the heat to Miami, where he made a number of critical baskets, including the two-piece that helped the United States of America beat Puerto Rico in the final and earn his first 3×3 championship.
If Fredette’s ambition to participate in the Paris Olympics is any indication, this might be a precursor to a far more serious commitment to 3×3.
Everyone can’t wait till the next time the former BYU star on the floor since he showed in Miami that he is still a tremendous drawcard.
Brazil is ecstatic whenever it gets to perform on a continental platform
Brazil’s teams were under a lot of pressure after their miraculous run last year, during which they won silver medals in both divisions. Their women repeated their silver medal performance, while their men took home bronze, demonstrating why they are an Americas powerhouse.
At the 3×3 court tournament, Vitoria Marcelino scored 40 points, putting her in first place overall and in all categories. She might be rechristened Queen Vitoria.
For the men, Leonardo Branquinho was also unstoppable as Brazil shocked Canada in the quarterfinals and then defeated giant killer Trinidad & Tobago to win bronze.
With yet another impressive season under their belt, Brazil has established themselves as a regional superpower.
As a WNBA player, Zimmerman stands head and shoulders above her peers
The United States of America came up short in the women’s competition but still managed to win bronze. The loss was a rude awakening for a WNBA All-Star squad, but it proved that the women’s 3×3 league is becoming more competitive.
Playing for the Japanese commercial side EXEWING in the FIBA 3×3 Women’s Series, Camille Zimmerman starred for the United States, scoring 30 points to lead her squad.
The 26-year-old had a strong finish to 2022, setting the stage for a breakout next year.
The island of Puerto Rico has finally returned to life
Although they were an original 3×3 country, Puerto Rico had been dormant until their incredible revival season of 2021-22.
This year has been more challenging, but the Puerto Rican men’s team closed 2022 on a high note by taking home silver.
After falling short in a painful way a year ago, the No. 2 seed should be satisfied with silver after challenging the star-studded USA in the final and falling just short.
Former NBA star Guillermo Diaz was on fire, and he and Jorge Matos formed a formidable combo as Puerto Rico returned to its 3×3 dominance.
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