Sonia Citron shines in FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup
DEBRECEN (Hungary) - The USA women’s basketball program has proven their dominance at every level this summer – the senior national team and 3x3 team winning gold medals in Tokyo, a senior squad also winning gold at the FIBA Women's AmeriCup 2021, and now the U19 junior national team securing gold in Debrecen, Hungary at the U19 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup.
The team successfully defended their 2019 title win in Bangkok and claimed their ninth title overall at the U19 level after beating Australia 70-52 in the Final.
One of the key stars for the US during the tournament was 17-year-old Sonia Citron, who averaged 13.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists during the tournament including a double-double performance against Egypt in the group phase with 13 points and 11 rebounds, with 10 rebounds coming off the defensive glass.
The gritty guard, who committed to play for Niele Ivey at the University of Notre Dame, had previous experience winning gold for the USA at the U16 FIBA Americas Championship in Puerto Aysen, Chile, where she was named to the all-tournament team and averaged 13.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.
It’s no surprise that Citron has now one-upped her own performance two years later and played 32 minutes in the USA’s final win over Australia tallying 10 points and 5 rebounds in the win. Citron also had a tournament high four steals against Chinese Taipei, proving her versatility on defense as well helping her team score points in transition or from turnovers.
Citron stood out in the U19 World Cup, being named to the All-Star Five, alongside teammate and tournament MVP Caitlin Clark, scoring in double digits every game to push USA to the win column, and shooting over 55 percent from the field during the tournament.
The 6-foot-1 guard proved her versatility in both sides of the ball during the tournament, and her two-way play caught the eyes of many who will be watching to see her play as a true freshman this fall, potentially in a head-to-head matchup with teammate Azzi Fudd.
Following in the footsteps of many young stars before her such as Rhyne Howard and Naz Hillmon-Baker, who were part of the U19 gold medal squad in Thailand and went onto win gold in Puerto Rico during the FIBA Women's AmeriCup 2021, Citron is one of the most exciting up and coming players to enter the USA basketball program and proved her spot on the team with her performance.