Owasso High School’s Basketball Star Brings Home the Gold for Team USA

KTUL - June 13, 2023 6:34 am

Jalen Montonati completed a lifelong dream with the Team USA basketball squad by bringing home the gold back to Oklahoma.

NewsChannel 8’s CJ Maclin spoke with the gold medalist before his plane left Mexico.

“Not many people can say that they got a gold medal. Not only in Oklahoma but the whole world. So, it was just a blessing to be selected to that team. People are saying that this is the best U-16 team ever assembled. So, it’s just a blessing to be a part of that,” said Owasso sophomore, Jalen Montonati.

Jalen Montonati is a sophomore forward at Owasso high school and he’s already on the international stage.

He has bragging rights as part of Team USA’s basketball squad that took down Canada in a lopsided victory.

The 118-36 win is the largest margin of victory in history.

Jalen’s contributions have not gone unnoticed. As a sophomore, he already has offers from Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Tulsa.

Offers that Jalen visualized when he wrote down a few personal goals in the 8th grade. He was able to check off a couple of those goals.

“I got goals in my room and one of them was to make the U-16 national team. But the big one was to get a gold medal. So whenever I get back home, I can check that one off,” said Montonati.

“These are goals that he came down with himself. And when I first saw them as a dad. I said you know these things are pretty lofty. And I think he came down with them, I believe it was his 8th-grade year. I looked on his wall and I said holy cow. If he knocks off a couple of these things it will be a great accomplishment,” said Jalen’s father and Owasso’s head basketball coach, Brian Montonati.

Jalen says he created a special bond with his teammates and hopes to make even more bonds and history in Italy.

“Not a lot of people know this about Jalen but he has an Italian passport. So, he will probably be the only kid to ever do what he is going to be able to do this summer. Where he plays with Team USA and then later in August, we are going to go to Italy where he’ll play with the Italian U-16 national team,” said Montonati.

Jalen will be playing for not one but two national basketball teams this summer.


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