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St. Pius star wins gold medal, MVP honors at Americas Cup
by Greg Oshust
July 02, 2013 04:12 PM | 2391 views | 0 0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special / FIBA Americas<br>
St. Pius standout Asia Durr accepts her MVP award after leading the U.S. U16 team to the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Cup in Cancun, Mexico June 23.
Special / FIBA Americas
St. Pius standout Asia Durr accepts her MVP award after leading the U.S. U16 team to the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Cup in Cancun, Mexico June 23.
Asia Durr made her debut on the international basketball stage a memorable one.

The St. Pius X star guard led the United States’ U16 team to the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Cup women’s basketball tournament in Cancun, Mexico June 19 through 23 and was named the event’s Most Valuable Player in the process.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Durr said. “All the players on the USA team are great players, so I’m surprised about it. I knew it would be a challenge and I knew I had to work hard. So, I went out there and tried to play my hardest and try to get the gold.”

Durr led the both the U.S. team and the tournament in scoring with 18.4 points a game as the Americans dominated in all five of their games – winning by an average margin of 65 points.

“We had two practices per day [before the tournament],” Durr said. “Our coach pushed us and we ran so much and she was hard on us. We knew we had to work hard, because our goal was to win the gold medal.”

Durr saved her best for last in the United States’ 82-48 victory over Canada in the championship game.

The U.S. held a narrow 32-31 lead over Canada with just over eight minutes remaining in the third quarter, when Durr scored 12 unanswered points to spark a 22-0 run that clinched the title for the Americans.

Durr finished the title contest with USA U16 single-game records for most points (26), steals (eight) and field goals attempted (22). She also tied the team record for field goals made with nine.

“It’s such a great feeling, because my teammates really helped me out,” Durr said. “I was struggling a little bit [early in the game] and we were all struggling. Our coach said that we’ve got to go out there and pressure them and force turnovers and that’s what we did.”

U.S. coach Sue Phillips said Durr’s outstanding performance in the title game came from a total team effort.

“I think Asia will be the first to admit that she couldn’t do it without her teammates,” Phillips said. “They delivered her the ball when she needed it and I think Asia’s point production was a reflection of how much she played in that game. She’s really capable of putting up some big numbers.”

Durr also scored 20 points in the United States’ 76-20 victory over Brazil June 19, 23 points in its 98-20 win over Argentina June 20, 12 points in a 109-16 victory over Costa Rica June 21 and 11 points in a 101-29 win over host Mexico June 22.

It was the third consecutive gold medal earned by the U.S. U16 team in the FIBA Americas Cup. The squad has a perfect 15-0 record in the tournament.

Phillips said Durr showed all the various facets of her game in the tournament.

“Asia demonstrated her ability to score in a number of ways,” Phillips said. “She can knock down a three. She also has a mid-range game and went to the basket hard, both in a half-court set and transition. She played combo guard for us – both point guard as well as shooting guard.”

It was the first international competition for Durr, who said she enjoyed her first trip overseas.

“It was a great experience,” Durr said. “It was my first time out of the country. We knew [the players from the other participating countries] were great players who were coached by great coaches. It was a great experience, because you got to see different styles of coaching and playing and see all the best basketball players from other countries.”

Will Asia Durr and St. Pius repeat as Class AAA state champs next year?

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