29 July 2023 | in Summer FISU World University Games
Nerves and anxiety were on full display in the Qingbaijiang Sports Centre Gymnasium Saturday afternoon as Poland and the United States made their men’s basketball debut at the Chengdu FISU World University Games.
In the end, it was the Americans triumphing 96-82 in the preliminary round Group C match after leading from start to finish, including advantages of 33-18 after the first quarter, 59-39 at halftime and 77-55 after 30 minutes.
Poland did battle back in the fourth period to trim the deficit to 14 points but it wasn’t enough against Team USA, represented at the FISU Games by Tulane University.
Kolby King – USA“Basketball means the world to me,” said Kolby King, the game’s top scorer with 19 points. “I grew up playing the sport since I was a kid and I really want to do it for all my life. Honestly, it’s just a sport that caught my eye and I feel that I can go far with this.”
For King, as for many others, basketball is inspirational and also a tradition in his family.
Since well before Michael Jordan’s Dream Team, basketball has been one of the most popular sports in the United States, with kids, teenagers and adults playing, enjoying and watching the game.
“One of the reasons why I like my team is because everybody uplifts each other. And that’s the most important thing about us,” King added.
Team USA is very confident for the rest of the FISU Games.
“We are here to compete and win the gold medal,” said Jaylen Forbes, who contributed 18 points in the victory. “Our preparation was very hard, and all of us are focused on what we want.
“Every team can be a strong opponent, but we are also a tough team. I’m not sure what will happen, but we are here to do our best.”
Group C action resumes on Sunday with the United States facing Japan and Poland taking on the Czech Republic.
The Czechs beat the Japanese 76-56 in the group’s other opening day duel.
Written by Julieta Boschiazzo, FISU Young Reporter