NEWS
07/09/2017 12:20 EDT | Updated 07/09/2017 12:21 EDT

Canada downs Italy to win world U19 men's basketball championship

CAIRO — R.J. Barrett scored 18 points and 12 rebounds as Canada downed Italy 79-60 on Sunday to win the world under-19 men's basketball championship.

It's the first time Canada has ever played for, and won, a medal at the tournament.

Nate Darling of Lower Sackville, N.S., and Abu Kigab of St. Catharines, Ont., each added 12 points.

David Albright Okeke led Italy with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Tommaso Oxilia and Lorenzo Penna chipped in with 12 apiece.

The 17-year-old Barrett, of Mississauga, Ont., finished the game 3 for 13 from the field and 12 of 14 from the free throw line. He's the son of Rowan Barrett, a former Canadian national team member who represented his country at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney.

Barrett is considered the world's best player for his age and has been the consensus top basketball prospect from the Class of 2019 for well over a year. He plays high school basketball in Florida.

Canada started the game slow but went on a 12-0 run in the first quarter to go ahead. The Canadians held a 51-36 lead at halftime.

Barrett and Kigab continued to pressure the Italians in the second half and opened a 26-point lead in the third quarter.

Lindell Wigginton of Dartmouth, N.S., returned to the Canadian lineup after missing the last two games with an injury. He finished with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes.

Canada advanced to the final by stunning the United States 99-87 on Saturday.

Canadian head coach Roy Rana also guided a team that Andrew Wiggins, now with the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves, to a bronze medal at the 2010 world under-17 championship.