Mark Few Named To USA Basketball U19 Coaching Staff
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The 2013 USA Basketball Men's U19 World Championship Team will be led by the experienced coaching staff that helped the USA qualify for the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, including the University of Florida's Billy Donovan as the USA head coach, and Mark Few of Gonzaga University and Shaka Smart of Virginia Commonwealth University as assistant coaches.
"It's such an honor to have this opportunity to represent our country with USA Basketball once again, and I'm really looking forward to it," Donovan said. "Mark Few and Shaka Smart are both outstanding coaches. I have tremendous respect for them both and am glad for another chance to coach alongside them."
The 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship will be played June 17-July 7 in Prague, Czech Republic.
"Our 19-and-under team is going to have as good a coaching staff as there is in coaches Donovan, Few and Smart," said Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University Hall of Fame coach and chair of the 2009-12 Junior National Team Committee. "It's going to be a tremendous advantage to have the same staff that led the 18-and-under squad a year ago."
This past summer, Donovan, Few and Smart led the USA to a perfect, 5-0 record and a gold medal at the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship that was held June 16-20 in Brazil, earning the USA its place in the 2013 FIBA U19 Worlds. In its five wins, the U.S. featured a well-balanced scoring attack that averaged 97.2 points and won by an average of 38.6 points per game.
"Anytime you can represent your country it is something special," Few said. "We get to coach some of the most talented young players in the country; players who are dedicated to the game, to their team and to their country.
"We are great friends," Few said of the 2013 USA U19 coaching staff. "We complement each other on the floor and off with our philosophies. I also learned a lot by being around them."
"It's an incredible honor to once again have the opportunity to coach some of the finest young players in the country and represent the United States in an international competition," Smart said. "I'm very humbled to once again be asked to participate.
"I think our personalities fit together really well," Smart said of the coaching staff. "We all understand and want to be a part of something bigger than any part of us. That's something that I've always been impressed about with Billy as successful as he's been; all he cares about is the team that he's a part of and winning. And Mark is such a terrific competitor and has such a way with the players that he's invaluable to the staff. I just try to bring some youthful energy. Those guys are the guys that have won hundreds of games. I also try to bring a level of focus to the defensive end that compliments their knowledge on the offensive side."
Approximately 25 hopefuls for the 2013 USA Men's U19 World Championship Team will gather for training camp June 14-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. Finalists for the team and the eventual 12-member roster will be selected by the 2013-16 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee prior to the team's departure for Czech Republic. Players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1994.
The FIBA U19 World Championship features some of the world's best, young talent, and six different countries have claimed a gold medal in the past six U19 World Championships.
On Jan. 15 FIBA conducted the draw to determine the four preliminary round pools, and the U.S. has been placed in Group D with China (FIBA Asia gold), Ivory Coast (FIBA Africa silver) and Russia (FIBA Europe fourth place). Drawn into Group A for the June 27-29 preliminary round were Canada (FIBA Americas bronze), Croatia (FIBA Europe gold), South Korea (FIBA Asia silver) and Spain (FIBA Europe fifth place); Group B includes Argentina (FIBA Americas fourth place), host Czech Republic, Iran (FIBA Asia bronze) and Lithuania (FIBA Europe silver); while Group C is comprised of Australia (FIBA Oceania gold), Brazil (FIBA Americas silver), Senegal (FIBA Africa gold) and Serbia (FIBA Europe bronze).
The top three finishing teams from each first-round group advance to the second round that will be played July 1-3, where the 12 teams will be divided into Groups E and F. Each team will play the three new teams in its new group, with preliminary-round results carrying over to the second-round standings.
Teams finishing in first through fourth places in the second round will qualify for the quarterfinals, with the opportunity to advance to the semifinals and finals. The quarterfinals will be held on July 5, semifinals are slated for July 6 and the gold medal game will be contested on July 7. Game times will be announced by FIBA at a later date.
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament was held every four years between 1979-2007. FIBA now conducts the U19 World Championship every two years. USA men's teams are 69-13 in the U19/Junior World Championships and have won four gold and three silver medals, most recently finishing with a 7-2 record and in fifth place in 2011.
USA U19 World Championship Team players of note include: Stacey Augmon (1987); Vin Baker (1991); Michael Beasley (2007); Dee Brown (2003); Vince Carter (1995); Nick Collison (1999); Stephen Curry (2007); Seth Curry (2009); Paul Davis (2003); Eric Floyd (1979); Jonny Flynn (2007); Gordon Hayward (2009); Larry Johnson (1987); Jeremy Lamb (2011); Stephon Marbury (1995); Doug McDermott (2011); Gary Payton (1987); Sam Perkins (1979); Wesley Person (1991); J.J. Redick (2003); Bobby Simmons (1999); Scott Skiles (1983); Klay Thompson (2009); Deron Williams (2003); and James Worthy (1979).
In addition to chair Boeheim, the 2009-12 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee included 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).