Wingate University's Barbara Nelson Returns To Lead USA Women At Inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship
Feb. 9, 2010 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
After leading the USA to a perfect 5-0 record and gold medal in the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, USA Basketball today announced Wingate University's (N.C.) Barbara Nelson will return to serve as head coach for the USA in the inaugural 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women, July 16-25 in Toulouse and Rodez, France.
For a second consecutive year, Nelson will be assisted by Mike Armstrong of Perry Meridian High School (Ind.) and Dorena Bingham of Team Alaska AAU.
The coaching trio led the USA past five opponents by an average of 70.0 points per game Aug. 10-14 in Mexico City, Mexico, capturing in impressive style the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 title and the USA's berth into the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship.
'I am both humbled and excited to coach the USA U17 women's team,' Nelson said. 'Coaching gives me an opportunity to make an impact in the lives of young women, and USA basketball provides a different group of young women to coach. Representing our country is a dream come true, and I am honored to have this opportunity to be an ambassador through USA basketball. I feel truly blessed to be a part of the USA basketball family. With the trials just around the corner, I look forward to seeing how much improvement all the young women have made during the past year.'
Twelve national teams qualified for the FIBA U17 World Championship through their FIBA zone tournaments, including the USA, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Japan, Mali, Russia, Spain and Turkey. The draw for the U17 Championship will take place on Feb. 12 in Toulouse, with the 12 teams being divided into two groups of six for preliminary round play.
The USA will conduct trials for the 2010 USA Basketball Women's U17 World Championship Team at the U.S. Olympic Training Center from June 8-11. Following trials, selected finalists are expected to remain in Colorado Springs for training through June 15. Players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1993.
The USA coaching selections were made by the USA Basketball Women's Developmental National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
The Women's Development National Team Committee is chaired in a non-voting position by Carol Callan (Women's National Team Director, USA Basketball) and includes NFHS members Jill Meerman (Decatur Central High School, Ind.) and Sue Phillips (Archbishop Mitty High School, Calif.); AAU appointees Jody Patrick (Vogues AAU, Va.) and Brian Robinson (Stealers AAU, N.C.); and athlete representative Jamie Carey (head coach, Legacy High School, Colo.), a member of the 2003 USA Pan American Games Team.
Nelson is in her third season as head coach at Wingate University (2007-08 to present), and as of Feb. 9, she had compiled an overall record of 56-27 (.675 winning percentage).
Finishing with an 18-10 tally in 2008-09, Nelson's first year with the Bulldogs resulted in a 26-8 record, a South Atlantic Conference Tournament title, a NCAA Division II Tournament Elite Eight finish and a No. 10 national ranking in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll.
Prior to joining Wingate, Nelson spent 21 seasons (1986-87 through 2006-07) as the head coach at Providence Day School in Charlotte, N.C. While with the Chargers, she compiled a 437-176 overall record (.713 winning percentage) and collected seven North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA) state championships and nine NCISAA conference titles.
Nelson's complete bio is available online here.
Armstrong returns in 2010 to the USA sideline for a third time. In addition to his stint as a USA assistant coach in 2009, Armstrong guided the USA North Team to a 5-0 record and gold medal in the 2002 USA Basketball Women's Youth Development Festival.
'I was honored to work with USA Basketball the first and second time I had that chance and to have a third opportunity is unbelievable' Armstrong said. 'Barb and Dorena and I got along terrifically, and we are philosophically very similar in how we believe the game should be played. It was tremendous experience working with them, and I learned so much that I am glad to have the opportunity to work with them again.'
Now in his 24th year (1986-87 to present) as head coach at Perry Meridian High School, Armstrong had compiled a 324-191 overall record through 2008-09 (.629 winning percentage), and his 2009-10 squad is 9-10 as of Feb. 9.
Armstrong led his 2008-09 Falcon squad to a 21-5 record, a Conference Indiana championship and an Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) sectional title.
Overall, Armstrong has captured three Marion County Tournament championships (1995, 1996, 1997); six conference championships (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2009); six IHSAA sectional titles (1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009); two IHSAA regional championships (1997, 2003); one IHSAA semi-state championship (2003); and a class 4A state runner-up finish in 2003.
Armstrong's complete bio is available online here.
Bingham will report for her fourth coaching stint with USA Basketball in 2010. She previously acted as a USA U16 assistant coach in 2009, a USA Women's U18 National Team Trials court coach in 2006 and in 2004 helped the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival West Team to a 5-0 record and a gold medal as an assistant coach.
'I feel very fortunate to have another opportunity to work with great coaches such as Barbara Nelson and Mike Armstrong,' Bingham said. 'The experience I had last year had a profound effect on me. The coaches and the girls exhibited the core tenets of what I believe a great team does---we worked together, defined roles, developed leadership abilities and created long-lasting friendships while focused on a common goal.
'This year I know that we will have to work extremely hard to win a gold medal,' Bingham continued. 'The teams we play will be savvy and smart, and we will definitely need to be committed to developing players so that we can compete at this level of play.'
The head coach of Team Alaska AAU since 1991, Bingham has helped 35 of her former AAU players reach NCAA Division I, II or NAIA programs. In recognition of her remarkable career, she was nominated for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
Bingham was the head girl's basketball coach at East Anchorage High School for 14 seasons (1994-95 to 2007-08). After taking the reins of her program in 1994, 'Bing' as her players call her, built a basketball empire in Alaska, winning three consecutive Alaska state championships from 1999-00 through the 2001-02 campaign, while compiling an overall record of 280-104 (.729 winning percentage).
In addition to three state titles, Bingham guided her teams to a total of 10 state tournament appearances, including nine straight from 1994-95 through 2002-03. East Anchorage's postseason runs included two runner-up finishes (1995 and 1996), one third place finish (1997), three fourth place finishes (1998, 1999 and 2003) and one seventh place finish (2006). She also helped her squads capture seven Region IV championships.
Bingham's complete bio is available online here.