Canada stuns U.S. to reach FIBA U19 World Cup final

Guard R.J. Barrett had 38 points and 13 rebounds to lead Canada to a stunning 99-87 semifinal win over the United States on Saturday at the world under-19 men’s basketball championship.

The six-foot-seven Barrett, 17, of Mississauga, Ont., is the son of Rowan Barrett, a former Canadian national team member who represented his country at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney.

In the other semifinal game, Italy beat Spain 66-63.

This marks the first time Canada has ever played for a medal at the tournament. What’s more, the Canadians played their second game without starting point guard Lindell Wigginton of Dartmouth, N.S., who is injured.

“What an incredible moment for Canadian basketball, for these kids, for this team,” Canadian head coach Roy Rana said. “Great win, now we’ve got to move on and get ready to play for — as unbelievable as it sounds — a world championship.”

Barrett was 12-of-24 from the field and 2-of-6 from three-point range. He also made 12-of-15 free throws.

Barrett is considered the world’s best player for his age and has been the consensus top basketball prospect from the Class of 2019 for well over a year. He plays high school basketball in Florida.

Abu Kigab of St. Catharines, Ont., had 14 points for the Canadians while Nate Darling of Lower Sackville, N.S., added 13 points and Grant Shephard of Kelowna, B.C., scored 12 points.

Rana also guided a team that Andrew Wiggins, now with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, to a bronze medal at the 2010 world under-17 championship.

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CBC | Sports News