The University of Virginia Cavaliers, featuring Aussie Kody Stattmann, have won the 2019 NCAA Championship with an 85-77 victory over the Texas Tech Red Raiders in overtime.
A freshman, Stattmann did not see any court time in the Championship game but played 18 matches through the season for 1.7 points per game while shooting 43% from the field.
The victory is Virginia’s first in school history and the team also features New Zealand’s Jack Salt while Francisco Caffaro, who came out of the NBA Global Academy in Canberra, red-shirted this season.
Stattmann rose through the Junior Championships pathway as a member of QLD North, winning the 2015 Under-16’s Championship while averaging 11.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
In a thrilling gold medal game against Vic Metro, Stattmann scored a tournament-high 24 points including 6-10 three-point shooting to lead QLD North to a 74-70 victory.
In 2017, Vic Metro reversed the result as QLD North claimed a silver medal at the Under-18’s but Stattmann was again a shining light for the tournament, collecting an average of 25.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 46% from the field and 39% from beyond the arc.
On a national stage, Stattmann has represented Australia at the FIBA Under-17 Oceania Championships and the Under-18 Asian Championships where he helped the Emus qualify for this year’s Under-19 World Cup.
One of three Aussies to average double-figures in scoring at the Under-18 Asian Championships, Stattmann continued his white-hot shooting by hitting 54% from downtown across the tournament and top-scoring with 17 points in the final.
He will now prepare for the FIBA Under-19 World Cup when he will pull the green and gold on again in Heraklion, Greece from June 29-July 7.