SAO PAULO, Brazil - Charleston Southern's Phlandrous Fleming can now count a gold medal among his accomplishments in a burgeoning basketball career. Fleming scored ten points and added three steals to help Team USA defeat Argentina, 78-69, in Saturday's gold medal game of the 2018 FISU/Pan Am Games.
Fleming and the Athletes in Action squad downed Mexico and Brazil to advance to the championship game, and controlled action Saturday to cap a memorable trip on the most memorable of notes.
"I've had a lot of great accolades and experiences in my career, and I believe this is definitely one of the most memorable," Fleming said. "This was just a great learning experience along with being a grand time."
"I had so much fun meeting lots of different people and playing with new guys while also praising God through it all," Fleming added. "God blessed me tremendously with this opportunity and I will never forget it - never."
Led by veteran coach Morris Michalski, the AIA team also conducted a compassionate aid event serving the poor of Sao Paolo, washing feet and outfitting children with new shoes. Clinics and camps were also offered to the local community.
CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh knows Fleming's experience was a special one that he will remember fondly in the future.
"We are so thankful for the incredible experience Phlan has had with Coach Mo and AIA," Radebaugh said. "To be able to represent the United States of America playing basketball is a unique opportunity not many athletes get. We are so thankful, and happy for Phlan to have such a fantastic experience."
Fleming, a rising sophomore, is part of a young returning nucleus for the Bucs' 2018-19 squad. He earned a spot on the All-Big South Freshman Team last year while powering CSU to eight wins in its final 11 games.