Hopkins' Nia Coffey helps USA U-19 team to world championship

  • Updated: July 30, 2013 - 7:04 AM

The three-time state champion from Hopkins won top free-throw honors during the tournament.

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Nia Coffey (32) right

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

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A gold medal will join Nia Coffey’s impressive collection of basketball hardware. The Hopkins graduate and three-time Class 3A girls’ state basketball champion helped guide the USA U-19 World Championship Team to its fifth straight FIBA gold medal on Sunday night in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

USA defeated France 61-28 to finish a 9-0 run in the 11-day international tournament.

Coffey, who will attend Northwestern, scored three points and had two rebounds in the championship game. Off the bench, she finished with 45 points and 32 rebounds in the tournament, twice scoring in double figures.

“It definitely felt amazing. Honestly, I can’t even put to words what I felt, but it was truly a blessing to be a part of this team. To play together to win the gold is actually a dream come true,” Coffey said in a news release. “(The coaching staff was) absolutely amazing. They had us prepared for every game. They did a really great job of encouraging us and helping us get to the gold.”

Coffey also claimed an all-time USA U-19 record with her effort. Her 11-of-11 from the free-throw line earned the program’s top free-throw percentage.

JASON GONZALEZ

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