Samantha Brunelle is ranked as the No. 1 girls basketball player in the nation in the Class of 2019. Brunelle has returned to USA Basketball and is the most experienced member of the Women’s U16 National Team that is playing in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship this week in Buenos Aires. Brunelle, a 6-2 forward from William Monroe (Ruckersville, Va.), has agreed to share her experiences in Argentina with USA TODAY High School Sports.
Brunelle and Team USA hav earned lopsided victories against Columbia, Mexico and Puerto Rico and will play host Argentina in the medal semifinals Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Here is Brunelle’s latest entry:
We played well in the first game at Columbia. Then, we played Mexico and did really well against them too. I thought you could see the improvement from the first game to the second game in the team chemistry and how well things were coming together.
We beat Puerto Rico by a good margin, but I don’t think we played to our best ability. A lot of us were off. It was not a USA Basketball kind of game. We know how to pick it up and we’ll get it back against Argentina.
Everybody’s talent put together makes the game so much easier to play. We’ve got girls who can score at so many different levels and so many great defenders. We’re playing so hard and achieving everything we set out to do so far. That’s what’s making the scores be the way they are.
For me, I felt like my first game was a solid game. I should have finished a couple of bunnies. I started off decently. Against Mexico, I improved from the first game, which is great. I couldn’t hit my shots against Puerto Rico. I know what I am capable of doing and I’ll just have to go out and fix it in the next game.
No one has surprised me on our team compared to training camp, but I love seeing Paige Bueckers play. She’s an amazing player. She hustles and gets after it. We call her the ‘Bucket Getter.’ The whole team is playing great as one, but she’s one of the girls who really stands out to me.
We have been playing every day, but I would say it’s easier than it was during training camp in Colorado. The altitude is not as high. You feel like you’re in great shape here. Now it’s about going out and doing what we need to do.
We’ve been focused on playing games and doing shootarounds, but at some point, I hope we’ll get to out and look around a little bit. We went out to dinner a couple of nights ago. It was really nice to just walk around. We haven’t toured Argentina fully, but what we have been able to see has been incredible.