Remember the post of less than a half hour ago wherein I said that John Shurna would play Croatia in the semi-finals today?
Well, turns out it already happened. There's something like a 16 hour time difference, and 8:30 PM there is apparently 4:30 AM here, or something like that. I would be angry at New Zealand, but, I'm pretty sure I brought this upon myself by deciding to randomly mock your nation in a John Plasencia post a few days ago. I will now attempt to redeem myself on the New Zealand sports karma scale.
Boy, is that Sean Marks good at basketball or what?
Flight of the Conchords is hilarious!
Anyway, USA won, with relatively little Shurna contribution - 2 points, 2 boards - and will play in the finals against Greece.
In writing this post, I discovered that the right side of the U19 tournament website has little highlight clips of some of the games. Inexplicably, they don't have any of the USA games before their quarterfinals game against Canada. Way less explicably, the FIBA highlight editor seems to think 1:30 of people hitting jump shots without any other plays interspersed or the context leading up to each jump shot makes for a good highlight reel. Needless to say, most of the Shurna viewing I got out of the clip was him boxing out for rebounds on shots that eventually went in, with one or two of him guarding people who went on to hit shots. He had a pretty nice and-1 layup against Canada, and was on the floor for the entire last minute of the 81-77 victory against Croatia - good to know. The highlight video also featured a Shurna closeup during the congratulatory handshake line, which was awkward, but it's good to see that his ability to casually acknowledge Croatians is coming along well.
Anyway: USA/Greece is tomorrow/tonight. Let's hope Shurna can join his schoolmate/first-name sharer John Plasencia in bringing home gold to the States, and more specifically, to Evanston.