Don Showalter Returns To Lead USA Men At 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship
Jan. 11, 2011 • Colorado Springs, Colo.
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 (St. Louis Eagles AAU, Mo.) and Mike Jones (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 León, 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.
Showalter has turned in several gold-medal coaching performances for USA Basketball. In the summer of 2010, he led the USA to an 8-0 record and gold medal in the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship for Men July 2-11 in Hamburg, Germany. The USA topped its opponents by an incredible 34.9 points per game while recording an eye-popping average of 107.5 points per contest.
Prior to the 2010 Worlds, Showalter and the USA wrapped up a 1-1 mark in exhibition play in Kaunus, Lithuania, including a 95-82 loss to the Russian U18 National Team and a 92-79 win over the Lithuanian U17 National Team.
Showalter helped the USA earn its place in the 2010 U17 World Championship following a 5-0 record and gold medal in the qualifying tournament -- the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship -- in Mendoza, Argentina.
In addition to winning gold medals for the USA, Showalter has returned to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for several training camps, including a camp for the 2011-12 USA Basketball Men's Development National Team on Oct. 9-10, 2010. He conducted the inaugural USA Basketball Development National Team training camp from June 6-9 in 2009, as well as a mini-camp from Oct. 10-11, 2009.
Showalter was the USA head coach in the 1998 Nike Hoop Summit and for the North Team in the 1998 USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival, he was the coordinator for a youth clinic hosted by USA Basketball in New York in 2004 and he served as chair of the USA Basketball Cadet and Youth Committee (now the Developmental National Team Committee) from 2001-08.
Overall, Showalter has compiled a 15-4 record (.789 winning percentage) in four head coaching assignments for the red, white and blue.
One of the nation's most accomplished high school coaches, Showalter completed his 36th year (1974-present) as a high school head coach in 2009-10. Through the 2009-10 season, he had compiled a 540-268 record (.668 winning percentage) overall and won 16 district titles.
The head coach at Mid-Prairie since 1984-85, Showalter boasts of a 432-179 (.707) mark there as of Jan. 11, 2011, including five trips to the Iowa state tournament, and his 2011-12 squad is off to a 8-3 start.
Showalter earned his ninth the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association's Coach of the Year award in 2010 after leading Mid-Prairie to a 20-6 finish.
For more than 24 years, Gray has served as president of the St. Louis Basketball Club (Mo.), which is a two-time AAU national championship program that has featured NBA talents such as Tyler Hansbrough, Larry Hughes and David Lee.
Three times Gray has served a USA assistant coach, and most recently, he helped the USA to a 101-97 comeback victory over the World Team in the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit. Gray also was an assistant coach for the USA in the 1997 Nike Hoop Summit, which the USA won 97-90, and an assistant coach for the USA North Team in the 1999 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival.
"Any time you are representing your country it's an honor and a privilege, and I feel extremely honored to be part of such an incredible organization," Gray said. "I know Don and Mike very well, and part of the reason I'm so excited is that I'm getting an opportunity to work with them. We have known each other for years and this is a chance to really solidify our relationship even further.
"I would say if there is a strength that I have, it's the ability to communicate with the youth of today. Our kids are a little different now than what they have been in the past, and taking advantage of every opportunity to communicate with them is so important when you are talking about trying to be successful on such a high level, like we are."
One of Gray's greatest accomplishments as a coach came in 1996 when his 17 & Under Eagles compiled a 51-6 record on their way to winning the 1996 AAU National Championship.
In 1998, Gray coached the 16 & Under and 15 & Under St. Louis Eagles boys squads, leading both teams to a combined 73-16 finish and the AAU National Tournament.
Gray currently serves on the Matthew Dickey Boys Club board and has served on the executive board of the St. Louis Sports Commission. Additionally, he serves on the Youth Action Network in Florida, is a lifetime member of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice and he has served as a National Commissioner for Boys AAU Basketball.
Gray is the President/CEO of the St. Louis Gateway Classic Sports Foundation whose mission is to award full scholarships for students to attend historically Black Colleges.
This will be the third USA Basketball coaching assignment for Jones. In addition to acting as an assistant coach during the 2011-12 USA Basketball Men's Development National Team Training Camp on Oct. 9-10, 2010, Jones was an assistant coach for the 2004 USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival East Team that finished 2-3 and collected a bronze medal.
"It is an honor to have the opportunity to work for USA Basketball and to represent our country," Jones said. "The standard has been set by our national teams for many years, and to be one of the individuals to make up the team entrusted with furthering that legacy means so much to me.
"I have known Coach Showalter since my first introduction to USA Basketball in the summer of 2004," Jones continued. "He is one of the most respected coaches anywhere. I have already learned so much from him and will continue to absorb as much as is humanly possible. Coach Gray and I have worked together at the Nike Hoop Jamboree for a few years, and his contribution to St. Louis area basketball and on the national AAU scene is well known. I am extremely excited to work with both of the men as we build a team that will represent all of us as we pursue another FIBA Americas U16 and FIBA U17 World Championship."
Jones is currently in his ninth season at the helm the DeMatha boys basketball team, where he himself was a basketball player and high school student. He was hired as the interim coach in 2002-03 and given the head coach position in the following season.
As of Jan. 11, Jones has led his 2010-11 squad to an 12-1 record, including a No. 6 national ranking in the most recent USA Today Super 25 and a No. 3 rank in the East region.
Five times (2005-07, 2009 and 2010) Jones has led the Stags to a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) league title, including in 2010 when the Stags finished 32-4 and secured an Abe Pollin City Title. Also during the 2009-10 season, Jones surpassed the 200-win mark with the Stags, finishing the year with 205 victories.
Honored as the Washington Post All-Met Coach of the Year in 2004-05, Jones also helped DeMatha earn national recognition as the No. 2 ranked high school athletic program in the United States by Sports Illustrated in 2005 and 2007.
Many of Jones' DeMatha alumni have graduated to compete in Division I college basketball, including Notre Dame freshman Jerian Grant, Indiana freshman Victor Oladipo, Georgetown senior Austin Freeman and Mikael Hopkins, a current DeMatha senior who will head to play for the Hoyas in 2011-12. Prior to his transfer to Oak Hill Academy (Va.) this past summer, Jones also coached two-time USA Basketball gold medalist and high school senior Quinn Cook, who has signed to play at Duke in the fall.
As a senior basketball player at DeMatha in 1991, Jones was the second-leading scorer on a team that went 30-0, one of two undefeated teams in school history. Jones helped DeMatha win the WCAC title, the City Title and the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament before leaving for Old Dominion on a scholarship.
A standout player at Old Dominion University from 1991-92 through 1994-95, Jones was a member of the Colonial Athletic Association All-Conference Team in his senior season, and he helped ODU to two trips to the NCAA Tournament (1992 and 1995).
Following his career at ODU, Jones tried out for several NBA teams, played professionally in the CBA and International Basketball Association, where he was first team all-league in 1997. He also played professionally in Finland in 1995-96 and Portugal in 1996-98.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the United States by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
Since 2008, USA Basketball men's and women's teams have compiled a sterling 96-2 win-loss record in FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. USA teams are the current men's and women's champions in the Olympics, FIBA World Championships; U19 and U17 FIBA World Championships; and U18 and U16 FIBA Americas championships. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.
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