Catching Up With USA Pan Am Coach Nate Tibbetts
October 19, 2011 • Tulsa, Okla.
• 2011 USA Men's Pan American Games Roster
• About The 2011 Pan American Games
• 2011 USA Men's Pan American Games Schedule
It's been just six days and eight practices since the 21 NBA Development League players first assembled in Tulsa, Okla., for the start of the USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team training camp. The roster of 21 hopefuls was reduced to 15 guys Sunday night after five training sessions. The squad still needs to be reduced to its official 12-man limit and the competition at the training camp has been intense and extremely fierce. The team's prep time is running short as the USA will begin play Oct. 26 at the Pan American Games Team facing the Dominican Republic.
USA and Tulsa 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts, and his 66ers staff, assistants Dale Osbourne and Jermaine Bryd, have been busy working with the players and trying to take the 15 players still involved and make them into a team.
Midstream in its preparations, where is the USA Pan Am team in its progress? Check out what Coach Tibbetts had to say to Mitchel Heckart, Manager of Public Relations for the Tulsa 66ers.How do you think the players’ focus has been thus far?
We aren’t going to be able to be a good team if we aren’t focused. We are trying to put a team together in a short amount of time. It is extremely important to have guys that are focused in and ready to go every time we come out. We have to play hard and value the basketball to give ourselves a chance. Have you been pleased with how the players have responded to your and your staff’s expectations?
Yes, We have really good guys here trying out that are committed to do what we are trying to do as a team. I think we have to trust each other. We have to trust our plan and what we set out to do. What about the players battling fatigue throughout training camp?
I thought we have been tired to start practice a couple days. We have to battle through it. Tuesday was more of a thinking practice, working on execution. I liked our energy. Overall, our effort has been unbelievable. We have to be able to fight through some of our fatigue because we will play five games in five nights in Mexico. Where do you think you are regarding the total offensive and defensive sets that have been installed thus far?
Defensively, I think we have installed 70 to 80 percent. Offensively, it is still coming along but it probably is about the same. So we are coming along at a great pace. Offense might come a little slower because our big emphasis so far is defense. We want all of our players to play hard at the defensive end. Offensively, it will take some time. What about the initial round of cuts that were made Sunday?
Cuts are never fun. These are all guys that are very talented. We started training camp with 21 players and we had to get down to 15 on Sunday night. We still have to cut down to 12 guys. I appreciate everyone that came to training camp and the energy and attitude they have shown. How do you feel about the experience you and your staff are having in leading the USA Team in the 2011 Pan American Games?
It has been great. Every day after practice we get into our offices and say ‘We are really doing this.’ It is great as a staff to work with USA Basketball and show how we do things here in Tulsa. Has the excitement of traveling to Mexico and playing in the Pan Amerian Games hit you yet?
I haven’t really thought about it yet. I need to start. But we still have a lot of work to do in order to be a good basketball team. It is going to be a ton of fun and a huge challenge later this month. We are looking forward to it. We’ll be ready.