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Diamond Dispatch: International Basketball More Physical Than US High School

Diamond Miller after the first FIBA U16 Women’s Americas Championship game in Argentina. Photo: Dreana Miller.

Diamond Miller said she got a little surprise during the first preliminary game of the FIBA U16 Women’s Americas Championship in Argentina.

The Franklin High School standout is playing on the U.S. National Women’s U16 team in the tournament. The U.S. handily defeated Colombia in that round on June 7, 91-33.

“International basketball is definitely different than high school basketball,” she said. “It’s good to experience that.”

The difference, Miller said, is that the game is a lot more physical.

“The girls are not as good as the US players, so they’re a little more aggressive and scrappy,” she said. “They push a lot. The game is a bit more physical.”

Their physical game is aided by the fact that the referees don’t call as many fouls as American refs, Miller said.

Miller played about 18 minutes of that first game scoring two points – both from the foul line – while nabbing six defensive rebounds and recording two assists.

She also committed two personal fouls and turned the ball over twice, something she said she hopes to prevent in the June 8 game against Mexico.

“I did ok,” she said of her first game. “My defense was good, but my offense was off.”

Miller was 0-3 from the field, all of her shots coming from the 3-point zone.

She said the team was confident that they were going to beat Colombia, but they did not expect their opponents to score as many points as they did.

Colombia’s tally was aided by a number of successful 3-point shots.

“They were taking a lot of ‘three’s’ and we were just late to the defense,” she said. “We know we can play much better than we played yesterday.”

Miller said Mexico is considered a better team than Colombia’s, “but we still think we’ll win.”

The first game helped the team run out the butterflies and get some experience playing live with each other, she said.

“We’re a little bit more settled in,” she said. “We won’t turn over the ball as much, hopefully.”

The US had 18 turnovers in the game, compared to Colombia’s 25.

“We’re going to play more of our game, stay away from the contact,” she said.

Diamond also had a message for her friends and fans: “I love you guys, thank you for all the support, and I  miss you and can’t wait to see you when I come back to New Jersey.”

The U16 US National Women’s basketball team plays its second preliminary game against Mexico at 3 p.m. June 8. The game can be watched online here.

 

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