BANGKOK, Thailand — It’s hard to imagine any athlete in the valley having a more superior summer than Cashmere’s own Hailey Van Lith.
After earning her third Gold Medal with Team USA at the FIBA U18 3v3 tournament in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia — where she was named tournament MVP — in early June, Van Lith helped lead Team USA to another gold at the FIBA U19 World Cup in Thailand this past weekend. The incoming senior has now won four Gold Medals over the past two years with Team USA.
As expected, the stars and stripes dominated their first six games, winning by an average of 25 points per contest, until they ran into Australia in the final.
Team USA beat the ladies from down-under by 23 in their first game of the tournament, but both were evenly matched Sunday.
Neither team was able to pull ahead by more than two possessions throughout the entire game, but Australia was leading with 17 ticks remaining in the fourth quarter. After Caitlin Clark made 1-of-2 from the line to pull USA within two, head coach Jeffrey Jacob Waltz called a timeout and drew up an inbound play for Van Lith, who caught the alley-oop pass, pump-faked and then drained the two-footer to even the score at 66.
In overtime, Team USA outscored Australia 8-4, with Van Lith knocking down the go-ahead bucket in the extra session. Van Lith scored 16 points in 30 minutes and added four assists and three steals. Over the course of the tournament, she averaged 9.1 points, 2.3 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.9 steals per game.
Van Lith is widely recognized as one of the top prospects in the 2020 class and is rated No. 1 at her position by ESPN and the No. 2 prospect overall by Prospects Nation. With colleges everywhere clamoring for her, Van Lith has her pick of the top women’s programs in the country.
That decision will likely come down the road.
Because now, it’s onto the prep season, and a chance to play for that elusive 1A state title.