Playing for your country and winning a silver medal at the U16 FIBA Americas Championships. Not a bad way to start your summer if you happen to be Victor Radocaj.
The Richmond basketball standout returned home in the early hours of Wednesday morning from Formosa, Argentina where Canada finished second to the United States after falling 111-60 in the championship game.
The Canadians reached the final after earlier wins over Argentina (75-61), Paraguay (79-71), Venezuela (80-43) and Puerto Rico (81-66) in the semi-finals. No team was within 40 points of the powerhouse Americans.
Radocaj had six rebounds and a basket in the win over Venezuela.
“Obviously a disappointing ending, but overall I'm really proud of the group. For them to qualify for the worlds and get a silver medal is still a great accomplishment and we look forward to next year,” said Canadian head coach Craig Beaucamp.
Radocaj, a 6-foot-7 forward, was the lone B.C. player named to the 12-player Canadian roster that was finalized after an extensive selection process in Toronto. The Grade 9 McMath Secondary student still has another year of eligibility with the U16 program.
He came through the Richmond Youth Basketball League (RYBL) before moving onto the Richmond Olympic Oval-based DRIVE Academy. Last summer, he played for Basketball B.C.’s U15 provincial team.