Wright, Foye take home gold

Joe Groglio

This summer most Villanova students spent their time relaxing at home or going on vacation. For Randy Foye, the summer break was a time to improve his game by competeting against some of the best basketball players in the world at the World University games. The team featured several Big East superstars such as Syracuse’s Gerry McNamara and Boston College’s Craig Smith, along with other stars such as Duke’s Sheldon Williams and Minnesota’s Vincent Grier. The team was coached by Villanova head coach Jay Wright, who did an amazing job getting all of these talents to work together as a team after so many years as opponents.

“One of the highlights for me has been watching this group represent the United States with pride and class,” Wright said in an interview with Villanova.com. “We have great guys, a lot like the guys we have at Villanova.”

The rest of the world was no match for this strong squad, as team USA cruised to a perfect 7-0 record going into the gold medal game against the Ukraine, considered to be the best defensive team in the tournament. The size and strength of the Americans, however, was simply too much for the Ukrainians to handle, as Craig Smith recorded 16 first half points to go with another 12 by Gerry Mcnamara. Foye finished with 13 points of his own to add to the American attack.

Smith left the game late in the second quarter with a foot injury, but team USA did not let up, as Sheldon Williams picked up the slack with a double-double of his own. Late in the game it became certain that there would be no Ukrainian comeback, as Williams and Vincent Grier threw down back to back sensational dunks over the massive opposing center. When the clock hit zero, team USA had won the gold medal, their first since 1999 and their 18th overall medal in 18 years.

“This whole experience has been about a group of twelve stars giving up of themselves to be a team,” Wright said. “As coaches we knew we had very talented players, but the thing we are most proud of is the fact that these guys really wanted to be part of a U.S. basketball team. They didn’t care who was the leading scorer or who played. That is really something special to be part of and is unique these days.”

From there the teammates returned to their respective campuses, ready and eager to begin training for the upcoming season. If the performance at the World games means anything for the year to come, it should be a highly exciting year of NCAA basketball.