June 19, 2018 08:30 PM
(ABC 6 News) – In men’s basketball, Team USA was dominant in the FIBA Americas U18 Championships in Canada last week—and one of Rochester’s own helped the U.S. bring home a gold for a 5th straight year.
Rochester John Marshall upcoming senior forward Matthew Hurt started five of six games for the USA during the Championships in St. Catharines, Ontario, averaging 14 points (4th on the team), 5.3 rebounds (3rd), while shooting 63% from the floor (2nd) and 60% from three-point range (1st).
“It was a great feeling (winning a gold medal),” Hurt said. “Being out there for two weeks was tough, but it was rewarding in the end. It was a lifetime experience. Not many people get to do this. It was a cool experience.”
Hurt, who is being recruited by practically every top men’s college basketball program in the country, didn’t disappoint for the U.S., and he said it’ll only make him a better basketball player at John Marshall for his senior season.
"(It’ll help me) be more of a leader,” Hurt said. “I was more vocal. I was used to the (USA) guys because we had a long two weeks with each other, but I think being more vocal and being more of a leader, that's what my high school team needs from me next year."
Kansas University head coach Bill Self was the U18 head coach. Self is one of numerous college basketball coaches who has offered Hurt a basketball scholarship over the past few years and Hurt said he was happy to have the opportunity to play for Self.
“(Coach Self is) a hall-of-fame coach, he’s really smart,” Hurt said. “Learning from him the past two weeks made me and my teammates better players.”
Hurt said playing for Self helped him understand his “style,” and what he “likes and doesn’t like,” but Hurt said the past two weeks playing for Self did not impact his well-known wide-open recruitment.
“Every coach still has the same chance,” Hurt said. “I’m going to take it day by day, make the best decision for myself.”
Hurt also got to work with Self’s assistant coaches, University of Dayton head coach Anthony Grant and Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning.
“They helped my game so much over the two weeks. I think I got better,” Hurt said. “(I learned to) not take a day off. Act like every day is your last day living because you don’t know what is next for tomorrow.”
Hurt will continue playing AAU basketball throughout the summer, playing in tournaments in New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas prior to starting his senior year of high school.”
Updated: June 19, 2018 08:30 PM
Created: June 19, 2018 05:32 PM
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