Salesian alum helps USA Basketball U19 team top Russia to capture gold medal

Salesian alum helps USA Basketball U19 team top Russia to capture gold medal

Salesian alum Mariya Moore helped the USA Basketball Women’s U19 team defeat host-team Russia on Sunday to capture a record sixth-straight FIBA U19 World Championship gold medal.

The U.S. team went 7-0 during the tournament, but had to fight to the very end to defeat Russia 78-70 in Chekhov, according to USA Basketball.

The game was played in front of a packed and deafening arena, the U.S. organization said.

Moore, who just finished a successful freshman season with the University of Louisville, said she was “so hyped” about an energizing three-pointer by her teammate in the third quarter that fended off Russia’s momentum. Moore would soon after hit a trey of her own, putting her team up 60-53 in the third. She tallied 6 points, 3 assists and 5 rebounds in the game.

While Moore admits she wasn’t shooting well, she said her head coach, Jeff Walz, who is also her coach at Louisville, “told me things that I could do to help the team, so I just listened to him.”

“It means a lot,” she said. “He pushed me through the game.”

And now Moore gets to share a gold medal with her teammates.

“It feels crazy,” she said Sunday. “It hasn’t even set in yet, but the part that feels the best to me is that we came out here for a purpose. We came out here to handle something, and we handled it. It feels great.”

Along with her stellar freshman year with Louisville, Moore helped the USA Basketball U-18 team last summer win gold in Colorado.