Coach Few Named Assistant On USA Basketball U18 Squad
††††††††††† COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few is among the coaches who will form the USA Basketball staff for the men's 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship this summer.
††††††††††† The University of Florida's Billy Donovan is the head coach with Few and Shaka Smart of Virginia Commonwealth University joining the staff as assistants.
††††††††††† "Anytime you have the opportunity to represent your country, it is a positive and something to take a lot of pride in," Few said. "I'm looking forward to the experience of being a part of USA Basketball. I'm also really looking forward to working with both Billy and Shaka. It will be a great opportunity for professional development."
††††††††††† Few undertakes his second selection by USA Basketball after serving as a court coach for the 2009 USA Basketball Men's U19 World Championship/World University Games Team Trials.
††††††††††† Donovan echoed Few's sentiments.
††††††††††† †"It's always an honor to be selected to represent your country, and I'm incredibly thankful for this opportunity to be a part of USA Basketball," Donovan said. "I have great respect for Shaka Smart and Mark Few, and I'm looking forward to working alongside them."
††††††††††† The USA is the reigning champion from the 2010 U18 tournament, when Quincy Miller (Baylor) hit a game-winning 3-pointer to help down Brazil, 81-78. The USA brought home silver in 2008 after falling to host Argentina despite a tournament MVP performance by Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats).
††††††††††† "Coach Donovan has been one of the premier coaches in college basketball over the past 15 years. He's won at the highest level of college basketball, and I'm sure that experience will translate well to the USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team," said Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach and chair of the Junior National Team Committee. "Having successful coaches like Mark Few and Shaka Smart in the program will make this a tremendously strong staff. The USA Men's U18 Team is going to benefit from having some of brightest teachers in college basketball guiding them."
††††††††††† Following the first three or four days of training camp for approximately 25-30 players from June 5-12 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, finalists for the team will be selected by the USA Men's Junior National Team Committee and will continue to train at the USOTC.
††††††††††† The 12-members of the 2012 USA Men's U18 National Team will be selected prior to the team's departure for the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, which will be played June 16-20 in Sao SebastiŠo do Paraiso, Brazil. Players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1994.
††††††††††† "It means a great deal to be selected to participate in USA Basketball and be a part of team that is going overseas to represent our country," Smart said. "I'm really excited about working with both Billy Donovan and Mark Few, quite simply they are two of the absolute best in the business."
††††††††††† Eight teams will compete in the 2012 U18 zone qualifier, including the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Mexico, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. The top four finishing teams in the tournament will qualify for next summer's 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.
††††††††††† In the hunt for a sixth gold medal, USA men's teams are 38-2 overall in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship (formerly known as the Junior World Championship Qualifier), and have won gold in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010, silver in 2008 and bronze in 2002.
††††††††††† In addition to chair Boeheim, the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee includes NCAA appointees Lorenzo Romar (University of Washington), Bruce Weber (Kansas State University) and Roy Williams (University of North Carolina), as well as athlete representative Jay Williams (2002 USA World Championship Team).