SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – An alumnus of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, 23-year-old Katie Lou Samuelson helped the US women’s 3×3 basketball team qualify for the Tokyo Olympics with a 21-13 victory over Spain Sunday.
The women’s team got their big win in the semifinal of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Graz, Austria.
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“I think all of us still are just kind of soaking it in, just to actually be part of qualifying America for the Tokyo field, because that’s awesome,” Samuelson said.
ALBANY, NY – MARCH 31: Connecticut Huskies Guard / Forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) is interviewed by ESPN’s Holly Roe after the end of the second half of the game between the Connecticut Huskies and the Louisville Cardinals on March 31, 2019, at the Times Union Center in Albany NY. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Fullerton native was the only member of the four-player team not selected in 2020 for the U.S. women’s 3×3 team, which was attempting to qualify for the Olympics at a tournament in Bengaluru, India. However, that tournament and the Olympics were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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“One thing I know with USA Basketball is you never know when you’re going to be needed, to get called up or when you’re going to need to step up,” Samuelson said. “I’m grateful I had this opportunity to fill in and I feel like we’ve been playing really well here.”
The game of 3×3 basketball is played half court with a 12-second shot clock. Baskets inside the arc and free throws count as one point and shots made from outside the arc are worth two. The first team to score 21 points or lead the game at the end of the 10-minute game clock gets the win.
The first ever 3×3 Olympic basketball competition is scheduled for July 24-28.
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