The third place game of the FIBA World Cup was this morning, or was it later today? Or yesterday? I don’t know. Time zones are weird. It was in the wee morning hours on the East coast that Team USA and Team Canada faced off to determine who would finish in third place in the FIBA World Cup, thus securing themselves a bronze medal. For Canada it would mean their first medal in international competition since pre-WWII and for Team USA they faced the prospect of not winning a medal for the second straight FIBA World Cup and just the 7th time in 38 world appearances at either the FIBA World Cup or the Olympics.
Team Canada pulled off the win in overtime with a final score of 127-118. The game headed into OT tied at 111 so that tells you just how dominant Canada was in the extra period. Zach Edey was on the floor with Team Canada up three and Team USA at the line. Team USA intentionally missed the free throw and the rebound caromed toward Zach Edey’s side but he was unable to grab it and Team USA hit the stunning three to tie the game and send it to overtime.
This experience playing with Team Canada, and probably more importantly practicing with them for the entirety of this trio, will undoubtedly help Edey became a better player in his final season with the Boilermakers. It also was what forced Edey to not participate in Purdue’s European trip, but that also might have been a blessing as it allowed other players to flourish and grow into roles. When Zach Edey returns to American soil and regroups with the team he will have stories to tell, a bronze medal to show off, and a hunger in his belly. Make no mistake, both Zach Edey and Purdue Basketball got better because of this experience. Congratulations to Zach Edey!