Creighton men's basketball player Doug McDermott headed to Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday, June 17th to attend the 2011 USA U19 World Championship Team Training Camp. He was one of 20 players in camp, a figure which was cut to 13 a few days later. On Wednesday, June 22nd, McDermott learned he made the team.
The men on the team headed to Lithuania on June 24th for a few practices and scrimmages and competed in the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship For Men in late June/early July in Latvia. Despite a 7-2 record that matched the best of any team, the team finished in fifth place after losing its quarterfinal round game to Russia.
While he was away, Doug wrote a blog exclusively on GoCreighton.com, and kept us updated while he was away. Below is his 14th and final entry, with USA Basketball photos by Steven Maikoski/USA Basketball:
I thought I would do one last blog to recap my trip with Team USA. We ended the tournament with a win against a really good Australian team. It was a close game throughout, and they had a bunch of guys that could shoot which kept them in the game. We ended up winning by only one and it felt much better going home with a win. After the game, I knew I had a long couple of days ahead of me.
We got done playing them around 5 pm and took a bus out of Riga at 11 pm to drive 4 hours to Lithuania to fly out. Our flight left at 5:45 am out of there so we had a couple of hours to kill there. We flew from there to Frankfurt and had a 6 hour layover at Frankfurt's airport. I think we all slept for about 4 hours on the hard floor. After that came the long flight to America. I thought I was going to be able to sleep some more, but that didn’t work out for me at all. We ended up getting to the Washington D.C. airport around 3 o'clock local time, and then we all parted different ways. It was tough saying bye to all the coaches and players because we became close as a group. At the same time, it felt good to finally be in the states. After that, my trip got real tough. My flight to Chicago got delayed two hours, so I knew I was going to miss my flight back to Omaha that night. After getting to Chicago late, I was put in a hotel room and had to fly out early in the morning. I started a stopwatch from the moment I got on the plane in Lithuania and stopped it once I left O’Hare for my hotel and it read 27 hours and 36 minutes.
So I clearly had a lot of time to soak the trip in. Even though we didn’t win the whole thing, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. The competition that I had to face I think will make me a better player in the long run. The people I met and the things I got to see are things I will remember for the rest of my life. Even though we probably let some people down, I think we proved that we were a good enough team to win it. We beat both of the teams that were in the championship game (Lithuania and Serbia), and beat the number one seed from the other side of the bracket (Australia). Not a day goes by where I don’t think about next season at Creighton. A lot of expectations are going to be set, but we are going to work as hard as we can to meet those. We start practice on Saturday for the Bahamas, but believe me, we will be thinking about next season more than anything. I hope you guys enjoyed reading these blogs throughout my trip, and make sure to follow Gregory on his journey with Venezuala!
June 26 vs. Lithuania's U20 Team (Exhibition) L 101-72 | Recap | Box Score
June 28 vs. Lithuania's U19 Team (Exhibition) L 108-75 | Recap | Box Score
June 30 vs. Egypt W 115-60 | Recap | Box Score | Quotes
July 1 vs. Serbia W 80-78| Recap | Box Score | Quotes
July 2 vs. China W 82-66 | Recap | Box Score | Quotes
July 4 vs. Canada W 83-54 | Recap | Box Score | Quotes
July 5 vs. Lithuania W 107-105 (OT) | Recap | Box Score | Quotes
July 6 vs. Croatia L 87-85 | Recap | Box Score | Quotes
July 8 vs. Russia L 74-79 | Recap | Box Score | Quotes
July 9 vs. Poland W 84-47 | Recap | Box Score | Quotes
July 10 vs. Australia W 78-77 | Recap | Box Score | Quotes