Marty James

Marty James

Basketball standout Nimari Burnett of Napa’s Prolific Prep Academy helped the USA Men’s 3x3 U18 National Team win each of its seven games as it captured the gold medal at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

A 16-12 win over Turkey in Friday’s gold medal game gave the USA a 7-0 record in the event, which had 20 teams. Teams from Mongolia, Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Turkmenistan and Ukraine were also entered in the five-day tournament, which began with pool play games.

Played on a half court with a 10-minute clock, and a 12-second shot clock, the first team to 21 points, or the team in the lead at the end of regulation, is the winner, according to USA Basketball’s website, www.usab.com.

Burnett, listed as a 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard who will be going into his senior year in the fall, also won the silver medal in the FIBA 3X3 U18 World Cup Dunk Contest. Burnett is from Chicago.

“Just do my best in both competitions, the gold medal game and the dunk contest,” Burnett said at www.usab.com. “Although I came out with the silver medal in the dunk contest, I feel like I did a good job. I could have done a different dunk the last dunk to get a better score, but the silver medal is actually a nice medal, so I’m glad to have both silver and gold.”

In preliminary round play, the Americans beat Latvia, 21-13, as Burnett scored four points.

The USA also beat Georgia, 21-9, as Burnett scored six points.

The USA men reached the quarterfinals following wins over Belarus, 21-14, and Mongolia, 21-10.

Burnett scored seven points against Belarus.

He led the USA with 10 points in a 19-12 win over Italy.

The U.S. beat Russia in overtime, 18-17 in the semifinals as Burnett had six points. A three-point play by Burnett gave the U.S. a 12-10 lead with 1:52 to go and was “the turning point in the contest,” according to a report at www.usab.com.

Commenting about the team’s strength, Burnett said, “Our will to win – I had that in my head as I went to sleep every night. I was like, ‘I don’t think any team here can beat us, because we all have a will to win.’ Once you have that, as well as talent and heart, you can win any game.”

Prolific Prep went 31-7 this past season and is No. 65 in the MaxPreps.com final 2018-19 Top 100 high school boys basketball rankings.

Prolific Prep ended its season with an 85-62 loss in March to Bella Vista Prep in the semifinals of the Grind Session World Championships at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky.

The Crew was 2-1 at the Grind Session World Championships.

Burnett was named first-team All-Grind Session.

He had one of his best games of the season in a 94-59 win in January over Spire Academy (Ohio) at the Flyin’ to the Hoop High School Basketball Invitational in Dayton, Ohio. He scored 34 points and made six 3-pointers to lead Prolific Prep. Burnett was 12-of-22 shooting from the field and 6-of-10 from 3-point distance in the game at Trent Arena on the Kettering Fairmont High School campus.

Burnett and Jalen Green, who is also with Prolific Prep, will each take part in the 2019 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team training camp later this month, USA Basketball announced in a report on its website, www.usab.com on May 23.

Green is listed as a 6-5, 175 guard. They are both in the high school class of 2020 and attend Napa Christian Campus of Education.

Green is from Fresno.

The camp, scheduled for June 15-18 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is expected to have 34 players, USA Basketball said.

Green is listed No. 2 and Burnett No. 21 in the ESPN 100 rankings for the class of 2020.


Mt. San Antonio College-Walnut won its seventh straight California Community College Athletic Association-National Alliance of Two-Year Collegiate Athletic Administrators Cup, the CCCAA announced.

Mt. San Antonio’s athletic department is led by Dean/Athletics Director Joe Jennum, who is a Vintage High graduate and a former Napa resident.

Jennum played basketball at Cerritos College-Norwalk. He played basketball and soccer at Cal Poly Pomona.

NATYCAA awards are designed to recognize and reward overall program excellence at the two-year college level, according to www.cccaasports.org.

NATYCAA is a professional organization of two-year college athletic administrators.

Colleges are awarded points based on their teams’ final positions in post-conference competition, according to www.cccaasports.org.

Napa Valley College was 67th in the 2018-19 CCCAA NATYCAA Cup standings.

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Email Marty James at martyjames.sports@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @marty_nvr