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USA Men's Basketball Team Beat Mali, Win 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 26: The basketball is seen during the game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the LA Clippers on March 26, 2019 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

As you'd expect, the future is strong for USA Basketball.

The United States (7-0 in the tournament) defeated Mali (5-2) 93-79 in Sunday's FIBA U19 World Cup title game in Heraklion, Greece, to take home the championship for the seventh time. The Americans also won gold in 1979, 1983, 1991, 2009, 2013 and 2015.

Per USA Basketball, "Mali was the first team from FIBA Africa to play in a FIBA U19 World Cup gold-medal game."

USABJNT @usabjnt

For a seventh time in #FIBAU19 World Cup history, the USA U19 Men take gold! #USABMU19 https://t.co/6uQ3rWjcrA

There was an element of redemption for the Red, White and Blue in this tournament after Canada knocked them out in the semifinals of the 2017 U19 World Cup. The U.S. took a narrow 42-40 lead into halftime but pulled away after going on a 12-0 run to start the third quarter.

FIBA @FIBA

That winning feeling! Congrats @USABasketball,#FIBAU19 Basketball World Cup 2019 Champions 🏀🌍🏆👏 https://t.co/dzHrNfqufl

USABJNT @usabjnt

𝘾𝙤𝙣𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣: 𝙐𝙣𝙞𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝘼𝙢𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙖 - 𝙂𝙤𝙡𝙙 𝙈𝙚𝙙𝙖𝙡𝙨 #USABMU19 https://t.co/kzj9SUcSM7

Cade Cunningham (6'6", 215 lbs) spearheaded a balanced attack with 21 points as one of five U.S. players to finish in double figures.

Reggie Perry (6'10, 245 lbs), who won the tournament's MVP, finished with 10 points and four rebounds, while Jalen Suggs (6'5", 185 lbs) added 15 points and five boards. Suggs is a 4-star prospect in the class of 2020, while Cunningham is a 5-star recruit and the No. 2 overall player in the class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

They both have international gold on their resumes before even stepping foot in a collegiate game, while Perry will turn his attention toward his second season with Mississippi State after earning SEC All-Freshman honors in 2018-19.

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All helped contribute to an average margin of victory of 28.7 points in the seven games.

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