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July 3, 2007 > USA Women are golden; Men capture bronze

USA Women are golden; Men capture bronze

By Biff Jones

In the second World Deaf Basketball Championships (WDBC) held this past week in Guangzhou, China, USA Women's Deaf Team survived their first loss ever since they began international play in 1981. After easily winning their first two games in the opening round pool play, they were defeated by Sweden, 54-52, to knock them into second place in Group A. This meant they would have to defeat the Group B first place team, Greece, to advance to the championship game of the tournament.

The semi-finals saw Team USA win handily over the Greeks, 70-60, while in the other semi-final, Sweden defeated Lithuania, 66-49, to set up a rematch for the Gold and Silver Medals. This time the Americans would prevail as they defeated the Swedes, 64-56, to take home the Gold. USA Assistant Coach, Barbara Hyde, of San Leandro, high school girl's counselor and basketball coach at California School for the Deaf in Fremont, said it always comes down to USA and Sweden for the championships of whatever tournament they are playing. Hyde was supposed to be used as a bench player if needed, as the team only had nine players on the squad. As it turned out, she ended up being more of a player than a coach when it came to "crunch time" as some of the regular players ran into foul trouble.

Hyde and fellow player, Jennifer Decuir, one of only three guards on the team and one of the team's veterans, are going to spend much of July touring inland China via train and bicycle. Decuir hails from Long Beach and played college ball at U.C. Davis.

The Men's team swept through the opening round of pool play 3-0, winning game one via forfeit, defeating Italy, 98-69, and finishing pool play with a 71-62 victory over Ukraine. As the first place team from their pool, the men played Russia, a pool second place team, in the championship round quarter-finals. An 89-66 victory over Russia moved them on to play Lithuania in the semi-finals, a game they would lose to the eventual Gold Medal winners, 87-76. The loss knocked them into the Bronze Medal Game in which they defeated Slovenia, 92-82, for third place.

In last week's edition, June 26, of TCV, it was incorrectly reported that the USA Men had lost their second round pool play game to Italy, 69-68, when in fact they won, 98-69.

Congratulations to both teams on returning with medals.

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