COLUMBUS, Ohio – What a weekend for Ohio State junior Linnae Harper. The Chicago, I'll., native was invited to participate in the USA Basketball National 3x3 Nation Championship held this past weekend in Colorado Springs, Colo., and she cleaned up.
Harper not only went on to win the tournament, but she also took home most of the awards. She and her teammates – Washington’s Natalie Romeo, Florida State’s Chatrice White and South Carolina’s Alexis Jennings – defeated the defending champions Unknown in the final game 19-17 and will represent Team USA at the World 3x3 Championships on Oct 11-15 in Guangzhou, China.
Harper took the gold medal in the skills competition earlier in the weekend and then led team Defend to four wins on day one of the event to earn the No. 3 seed in Sunday’s single elimination championship. A pair of wins Sunday advanced them into the championship game against Unknown where they would avenge a one-point loss on Saturday with Sunday’s 19-17 victory. For her efforts, Harper was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
"It's an amazing feeling," said Harper. "To be here, representing the USA, and getting the opportunity to play at the next level is a wonderful opportunity. All the credit goes to my teammates, we worked hard in a limited time, we battled on and off the court, and we played well. I also want to give credit to the teams that we played. They brought all their energy, their talent, and it's just a great experience.”
Harper, who was a member of the 2011 U18 3x3 Youth World Championship Team, is a veteran of five previous USA Basketball teams. Most recently, she was a member of the 2015 silver medal winning Pan Am team that competed last summer in Canada.
Harper will be eligible to compete for the Buckeyes at the end of the fall semester after fulfilling the NCAA transfer requirements. She was an All-SEC Defensive Team member at Kentucky in 2015 and at just 5-8, led the Wildcats in rebounding.