(From our friends at USA Basketball)
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. (Jan. 11, 2011) – After leading the USA men to gold medals in the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship, USA Basketball today announced that Don Showalter (Mid-Prairie H.S., Iowa) will return as head coach of the 2011-12 USA Men’s Developmental National Team with assistant coaches Rich Gray Mike Jones (St. Louis Eagles AAU, Mo.) and
(DeMatha H.S., Md.). The USA coaching selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
The trio will lead the USA in the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, which will be held June 21-25 in Guanajuato, Mexico, and if the USA qualifies with a top-three finish in 2011, the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship (date and location to be determined).
“Rich Gray and Mike Jones are going to be tremendous coaches to work with, and I know we will make a great team as a coaching staff,” said Showalter, who was honored as a USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2010. “When you prepare a team of players, you also want to prepare a team of coaches, and I think the three of us will work very, very well together and complement each other with our strengths.
“I think the biggest challenge we will face with this younger group is to help them understand the level to which they need to elevate their game,” Showalter continued. “We will try to get them to understand that teamwork is the most important part of what we are going to try and do to win another gold medal. If they can buy into the teamwork part, you always have a chance to be successful.”
Chaired in a non-voting position by Sean Ford, the USA Basketball Men’s National Team Director, the USA Men’s Developmental National Team Committee also includes AAU appointees Ron Crawford and Boo Williams, National Federation of High Schools representatives Eric Flannery and John Olive and athlete representative Kermit Holmes (1999 USA Pan American Games Team).
“This is an outstanding coaching staff, and the committee is very pleased to have such experienced and successful coaches leading our 2011-12 Men’s Developmental National Team,” Ford said. “Don has done a tremendous job for USA Basketball over the last two summers, and in the past as well, and Rich Gray and Mike Jones are proven winners who are committed to teaching the skills and teamwork that will be necessary for the USA to be successful at these events.”
The official 12-member 2011 USA Men’s U16 National Team will be selected following training camp for the 2011-12 USA Developmental National Team, which is expected to take place June 10-18 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1995.