It was 3 a.m. Monday in Minsk, Belarus, as Jordan Horston spoke on the phone at the airport while waiting for the first of her flights that would eventually get her home to Columbus, Ohio.
There was no time for sleep, just celebrating the FIBA U-17 World Cup coming back with her to the United States.
"I am not tired at all," Horston said with a laugh. "I'm still on a high, Cloud 9. I think our whole team is. I'm just so happy and excited to be with them and for us to win the gold."
Horston capped off a spectacular seven-game tournament run with 12 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, six steals, and three blocked shots Sunday and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player as Team USA regained the U-17 world championship with a 92-40 rout of France in Minsk.
It was the Americans' first title since current University of Connecticut senior All-American Katie Lou Samuelson led them to gold in 2014 as they settled for the bronze medal two years ago.
But in Minsk they left no doubt. Coached by Tufts University's Carla Berube, the former UConn star, their closest game was a 35-point quarterfinal win over Spain and their average margin of victory was 48.0 points.
"Our chemistry on and off the court was great," Horston said. "Playing with this group of girls is something that I'll remember forever. We were all in it together. We had the kind of chemistry that we needed in order to be successful."
The only opponent to reach 50 points against Team USA was China, and that was after the Americans' put up 107. They limited their seven foes to 26.1 percent shooting and held a 26.7 per game average advantage on the boards.
Offensively, they scored 89.3 points yet had no one average 12. They shot 48.9 percent from the floor and had assists attached to 70.9 percent of their baskets with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.8.
"The coaches really emphasized getting stops, getting stops, and we were able to get a lot of offense going that way," Horston said. "We knew if we wanted to win gold that we needed to focus on the defensive end.
"And this whole team was unselfish and every player was willing to make that extra pass. We always looked for each other to make sure we'd get the best shot."
Horston was usually in the middle of Team USA's best play.
The 6-foot guard was third on the team in scoring behind Aliyah Boston and Haley Jones at 10.1 points, was second to Boston in rebounds at 7.0. and led the squad at 5.1 assists and 3.4 steals. She shot 50.0 percent from the floor and had an assist-to-turnover ration of 2.8.
"The coaches really pushed me to go hard to the boards and rebound and that's what I did," Horston said. "And they also pushed me to finish at the basket and I was able to do it. I was able to push the ball and get the ball to my teammates when they were open and they did a great job, too, scoring."
Team USA made quick work of France. After spotting it the first basket, the Americans responded with 16 straight points. It was 46-28 at halftime and Team USA put it out of reach with a 13-2 run to start the third quarter.
Boston finished with 16 points and eight rebounds while Jones had 14 points. Azzi Fudd chipped in 11 points while Paige Bueckers had eight points, seven rebounds, and 10 assists with no turnovers.
Jones and Boston joined Horston on the five-player all-tournament team. But when it came to naming the MVP, her teammates didn't wait for Horston's name to be called.
"I didn't believe it," Horston said. "The whole time my teammates were going, 'MVP, MVP,' and I thought they were joking around. Then I heard my name called and it was like I was living a dream. It's crazy. I felt fortunate and blessed."
"To be able to do this at the World Cup, playing against players from around the world, should only help me. It's a great accomplishment, but it's not the end. There's a lot more that I want to do."
On deck for Horston is her senior year at Columbus Africentric High. As a junior, she averaged 18.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 5.1 steals in leading her team to a 27-3 record and the Ohio Division III state championship.
There's also a college choice to be made. Horston has already made official visits to North Carolina - where her mother's cousin, Sylvia Crawley, is an assistant coach - and UCLA, and is also considering UConn, hometown Ohio State, Louisville, South Carolina and Tennessee.
She had planned an official visit to UConn the weekend of June 1 but travel issues caused her to postpone it. Her list is still at seven and she said she'll make her way to Storrs for that visit in September.
It's already been quite a 2018 for her.
"Yes it has, starting with the high school championship," Horston said. "But I'd say this is 10 times better."