Sky’s Stefanie Dolson helps USA make Olympic basketball history

“It’s always special to be the first of anything,” Dolson said in her postgame interview. “Basketball runs deep in the USA blood.”

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Stefanie Dolson had five points and eight rebounds in the semifinals and finished with seven points and nine rebounds in the gold medal game.

Stefanie Dolson had five points and eight rebounds in the semifinals and finished with seven points and nine rebounds in the gold medal game.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Before Stefanie Dolson left for the Tokyo Olympics she said USA’s 3-on-3 team was focused on starting a new dynasty. One that held the same respect that the 5-on-5 team, in pursuit of their seventh straight gold medal, has earned.

Wednesday morning, Dolson along with teammates Allisha Gray, Jackie Young and Kelsey Plum coached by Kara Lawson brought Team USA its first gold medal in the new Olympic sport, beating the Russian Olympic Committee 18-15.

“It’s always special to be the first of anything,” Dolson said in her postgame interview. “Basketball runs deep in the USA blood. For us to have this accomplishment as well and hopefully start something is really special.”

Team USA’s only loss in the tournament was to Japan in group play, after they’d already secured the No. 1 seed in the semifinals.

Five hours before their gold medal game against the ROC, Team USA beat France 18-16 in the semifinals. Lawson stressed the importance of running their offense through their defense and USA executed the game plan throughout the tournament.

Against France in the semifinals, they forced six turnovers, outrebounded the French 18-15 and Dolson, Plum and Gray all recorded a blocked shot. Dolson had five points and eight rebounds in the semifinals and finished with seven points and nine rebounds in the gold medal game.

The USA opened its dominant gold-medal-winning run four days ago against France, capturing its first win of the tournament 17-10. The team would go on to win five more, beating Mongolia, Romania, the ROC, Italy and China for a 6-0 record, before losing to Japan 20-18 in the final game of group play.

The support for 3x3 was energetic from the first day, or night depending on your time zone, of play. Fans on social media shared posts all week showing their excitement for the new Olympic sport and Team USA’s pursuit of gold.

When they secured the first Olympic gold medal in the sport’s history, USA National Team coach Dawn Staley shared a message on Twitter: “Way to represent ladies!”

A dynasty is defined by a powerful group that maintains its position as the best for a considerable amount of time.

There is no better start than gold.

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