Wednesday, June 25, 2014 | 12:30 p.m.
Chase Jeter and Stephen Zimmerman are familiar with winning championships at Bishop Gorman High. This one feels a little different.
The Gaels teammates were two of only 12 players on Team USA’s under-18 squad that entered the FIBA Americas Championship in Colorado Springs, Colo., with only one goal — gold — in mind. Team USA completed its 5-0 march through the tournament Tuesday night with a 113-79 victory against Canada.
“Seeing my parents crying and being proud of me was really special,” Zimmerman said in a statement.
That was as close as any team got to the loaded USA squad during the competition. The Dominican Republic also managed to lose by “only” 34 in the semifinal game.
“I’m just blessed to have had the opportunity to come out and represent my country with these guys,” Jeter said in a statement. “We went out and we stuck together and we won gold as a team.”
Both Zimmerman and Jeter are high priorities for the Rebels in the class of 2015.
Over the five games, Zimmerman averaged 8.8 points on 63.6 percent shooting and 6.2 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game. Jeter had 6.6 points on 51.9 percent shooting and 4.4 rebounds in 14 minutes per game.
The squad also featured Allonzo Trier, who recently transferred to Findlay Prep from Montrose Christian in Maryland. Trier started and scored nine points in the gold-medal game while playing against future Pilot teammate Dillon Brooks, who led all scorers with 27 points for Canada.
By making the semifinals, Team USA qualified for next summer’s U19 FIBA Americas Championship. Whether or not the Gorman teammates are on that roster, they already have the memory of watching those final seconds tick off toward their gold.
“My heart kind of dropped and I got that fuzzy feeling inside,” Jeter said. “I was feeling good and proud; proud to be a part of this team, proud to represent our country and proud of being a part of USA Basketball.”