Team USA, Denzel Valentine, Win Bronze in Toronto
Over the weekend, team USA basketball competed in the medal rounds for Pan-Am Games glory. While the end result wasn't as sweet as desired, the team, including a Spartan, come away with a bit of hardware.
After the USA handled their business against Puerto Rico to secure a place in the semifinals the USA played in what amounted to be a seeding game and lost 93-83 to Brazil. Denzel Valentine, a Spartan senior played only 2:38 and picked up one personal foul in the game.
In the semifinals, the USA was matched up with pool B winner and host Canada. In a back and forth game that went to overtime the hosts ultimately prevailed 111-108.
Current pro Bobby Brown missed a potential tying three in the last few seconds. USA was out rebounded 50-29 in the game. Denzel Valentine played just short of 16 minutes, tallying 11 points and three rebounds on 50% shooting from the field.
From the Detroit Free Press' Kirkland Crawford quoting Valentine: "You don't want to go home empty handed," said Valentine in a released statement. "It does not matter what place you are in, you want to leave with a medal. Even if it is the bronze, our ultimate goal was the gold, but we fell short. We want to leave with something, so tomorrow we have to take it."
The USA would get their bronze medal in another tightly contested game, this time coming out on top over the Dominican Republic 87-82. Valentine played just under 17 minutes in this game scoring 11 points and adding four rebounds and a blocked shot.
Brazil defeated Canada 86-71 to win the gold medal.
Valentine finished the tournament with an average of 11:20 of floor time with 7.4 PPG and 2.2 RPG, he also added two assists, a steal and a blocked shot to his stat sheet.
After what should be seen as a successful Pan-Am games, Valentine will now shift his focus back to East Lansing as he and the rest of his Spartan teammates prepare for an overseas trip to Italy for team building and exhibition games before the semester starts up.