2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11

Jill Rankin Schneider Returns As Head Coach Of USA Basketball’s 2012 USA Women’s U17 World Championship Team

Colorado Springs, Colo. • May 2, 2012

USA Basketball’s gold-medal staff from the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Women will return to lead the USA in the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship, including head coach Jill Rankin Schneider (Monterey H.S., Texas) and assistant coaches Gail Hook (Monarch H.S., Colo.) and Letitia Hughley (Mott Community College, Mich.).

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to lead the USA U17 Women,” said Schneider, who is a four-time USA Basketball gold medalist and a finalist for the 2011 U.S. Olympic Committee Developmental Coach of the Year. “I am also very pleased to have Gail Hook and Letitia Hughley back on the sidelines. The challenge that the World Championship tournament presents is formidable, but it’s one that we look forward to undertaking.”

The 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship will be played Aug. 17-26 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The USA is one of 12 national teams qualified through their respective zone championship. Led by Schneider, Hook and Hughley, the USA earned its place with a 5-0 record in the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.

“I'm excited to be a part of USA Basketball again and am really looking forward to coaching with Jill and Letitia and the incredible players on the U17 team,” Hook said.
“I definitely enjoyed myself last year with the U16s, and I was very excited when they called me and asked me to return this year,”Hughley said. “I learned a lot from coaching with Jill, Gail and all of the players, and I look forward to helping lead another team together.”

The selections were made by the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.

“Jill, Gail and Letitia did a tremendous job in leading the U16 National Team to a gold medal and perfect record this past summer, and we are fortunate to have them back to lead the U17s in 2012,” said Carol Callan, USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director and non-voting chair of the USA Women’s Developmental National Team Committee. “They were a strong team that worked well together, and I know they will do a great job in preparing these young players for a very competitive tournament.”

Trials to select the 12-member USA Women’s U17 World Championship Team will be held May 17-20 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 12-member USA Women’s U17 World Championship Team is expected to be announced on the morning of May 20, before all players depart for home. Players eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens, born on or after Jan. 1, 1995.

The team will reconvene for training camp May 28 - June 2 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, Fla., and then again at the USOTC on Aug. 1-7 before departing for Europe.

The USA also will compete in an exhibition round-robin tournament in Italy against U17 national teams before arriving in Amsterdam. Traveling to Caorle, Italy on Aug. 8, the team will practice on Aug. 9 before taking on Brazil at 6:30 p.m. (Caorle is +6 hours from EDT) on Aug. 10. The USA will play Australia at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 11 and then face host Italy at 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 12. The team will practice in Italy on Aug. 13 before departing for Amsterdam on Aug. 14. The USA will have two days of training in Amsterdam before the start of the FIBA U17 World Championship. 

The USA has been placed in preliminary round Group A and will open against South Korea at 9:15 p.m. (Amsterdam is +6 hours from EDT) on Aug. 17, followed by Canada at 9:15 p.m. on Aug. 18 and Italy at 4:45 p.m. on Aug. 19. After a rest day for all teams on Aug. 20, the USA will take on Belgium at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 21 and wrap up preliminary round play against Mali at 10 a.m. on Aug. 22. The top four finishing teams from each preliminary round group will advance to the medal quarterfinals on Aug. 24. Winners of the quarterfinals will compete in the medal semifinals on Aug. 25, and the gold medal game will be played on Aug. 26.

The USA is the reigning U17 champion for men and women after both teams wrapped up 8-0 records and gold medals at the inaugural events in 2010.

In addition to Callan, the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee includes AAU appointees Jody Patrick and Brian Robinson, National Federation of High School representatives Jill Meerman and Sue Phillips and athlete representative Ruthie Bolton (two-time Olympic gold medalist and a member of 11 USA Basketball teams from 1986 through 2000).

Jill Rankin Schneider
A 2008 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Schneider completed her 14th season (1998-99 to present) as head coach at Monterey High School in 2011-12, leading her squad to a 23-9 record and the 5A Region I quarterfinal.

She owns a wealth of USA Basketball experience as a player and as a coach. As an athlete, she helped the USA to gold medals in the 1979 FIBA World Championship, the 1979 R. William Jones Cup and the 1980 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, to a silver medal in the 1979 Pan American Games and she was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team that did not compete in the 1980 Olympics that were held in Moscow. As a coach, she led the USA U16s to gold in 2011 and shared the head coach position for the 1982 USA Select Team that compiled a 2-1 record in Bolivia.

Schneider also served as the women’s basketball representative to the U.S. Olympic Committee from 1980-82 and was a court coach during the 1984 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team Trials.

Since her arrival at Monterey, Schneider three times has been selected by her peers as the District 2-5A Coach of the Year (2000, 2002 and 2004), and in 2000 and 2011 she was chosen All-South Plains 4A/5A Coach of the Year by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and as a Texas All-Star Game coach by the Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA).

Twice Schneider has been honored by Fox Sports Network as a “Coach Who Makes a Difference” when she was featured on “High School Extra” in 2002 and on “High School Scoreboard” in 2004. In July 2004, Schneider was selected by the TGCA as a coach for the Texas-Oklahoma All-Star game.

Schneider also has served as a board member and on the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) Hall of Fame committee for the past seven years.

She began her coaching career at the University of Tennessee where she was a student assistant under Pat Summitt.

Additionally, she served as an assistant coach for the University of Texas for five seasons (1981-82 to 1985-86) under Jody Conradt. In her last season at UT, the Lady Longhorns became the first women’s team to go undefeated to win an NCAA national championship in 1986.

After leaving Texas, Schneider was the head coach at Borger High School. In her 12 seasons there, her teams posted eight winning seasons and three playoff appearances. In 1994, her squad reached the Texas Class 4A state semifinals, and that same year she was inducted into the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame and was named Borger’s Citizen of the Year.

The TABC selected Schneider as the head coach of the 1994 North All-Star Team, and in 1996, she was the recipient of the Mike Newland Sportsmanship Award by the Amarillo Officials Association.

As a collegiate athlete, Schneider played at both Wayland Baptist University (1976-77 to 1978-79) and the University of Tennessee (1979-80).

She helped Wayland Baptist to a 31-5 mark as a freshman in 1976-77, a 33-5 record as a sophomore in 1977-78 and a 24-10 tally as a junior in 1978-79. Overall, she had an 88-20 record (.815 winning percentage) with the Flying Queens. While at Wayland, Schneider was recognized as a Kodak All-American in 1979; a Hanes Underalls All-American and Street & Smith’s Preseason All-American in 1978 and 1979; as a National Scouting Association All-American in 1978; and a NWIT All-American in 1977. Schneider holds or is tied for No. 1 in Wayland Baptist’s record book for single-game field goals made (20, tied) and attempted (35), single-season field goals made (410) and attempted (698), single-season rebounds (1,000) and single-season scoring average (29.4).

As a senior at Tennessee in 1979-80, she helped the Lady Vols compile a 33-5 record and reach the 1980 national championship game. She was again named to the Kodak All-American team (1980), making her one of a select few athletes to be named as one of the nation’s top ten players at two different universities. Additionally, she was tabbed the 1980 GTE Academic Player of the Year.

As a prep athlete, Schneider was a two-time all-state honoree at Phillips High School in Texas, where she led the team to a Class 2A state championship in 1976. She once scored 81 points in a game and still holds several state tournament scoring records. Inducted into the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002, the Austin American Statesman named Schneider to its All-Time All-State Basketball Team in 1998, and in 1999 she was honored as one of the Top 100 Sports Legends of the Texas Panhandle by the Amarillo Globe-News.

Schneider was inducted into the University of Tennessee Lady Vol Hall of Fame, and in 1997 she was named to the All-Time GTE Academic All-American Team for colleges and universities.

She obtained a master’s degree in mathematics education from the University of Texas and currently teaches college algebra at Monterey.

Gail Hook
Having completed her 14th season (1998-99 to present) as head coach at Monarch, Hook has led her team to 10 state tournaments, including the championship game in 2009 and 2012, the final four in 2003 and 2010, the elite eight in 2002, 2004 and 2011 and the round of sixteen in 2001, 2005 and 2008.

In 2011-12, Hook led Monarch to a 22-6 record, a Front Range League title – her fifth (2002, 2003, 2010-2012) – and the 5A state championship game, and she was recognized as the 2012 Helen McCall Memorial Coach of the Year by Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports.

On the USA sideline, Hook won gold as an assistant coach at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, she was a court coach during the 2000 USA U18 National Team Trials and in 2005 she was an assistant coach for the USA Red Team that finished 3-2 to claim the bronze medal at the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival. In 2006 she acted as co-director for the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, helping USA Basketball to coordinate the seven-team tournament that was played at the USOTC.

She played for USA Basketball in the 1978 U.S. Olympic Festival, earning a gold medal with a 4-0 record.

Four times honored as the Front Range Coach of the Year (2002, 2003, 2009 and 2010), Hook was recognized as the Boulder County Coach of the Year and the Dave Sanders Colorado Coach Award recipient in 2009, and she was named the State Farm Colorado Coach of the Year in 2001.

Since 2006, she has served on the WBCA committee responsible for selecting the WBCA High School All-America Team and Coach of the Year, and she was on the nomination committee for Sportswomen of Colorado from 2005-2010.

Hook’s previous high school experience includes a year as the girls basketball coach and Dean of Students at Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, Colo. (1995-96), and eight seasons at Centaurus High School in Lafeyette, Colo. (1986-87 to 1993-94).

While at Centaurus, she led the program to the 1991 Colorado 5A state title, the 1992 state semifinals, the 1993 state quarterfinals and the state title game in 1994. She captured league and district championships in 1992 and 1994 and a district championship in 1993. Hook was recognized as the Boulder County, Skyline Conference and Colorado Coach of the Year in 1991 and as the Skyline League, Boulder County and Joint Effort Coach of the Year in 1992.

She also has experience in the collegiate and professional ranks. She was an assistant coach to the WNBA’s Charlotte Sting in 2003 and for the American Basketball League’s Colorado Xplosion from 1996-98. She spent one season as an assistant coach at Purdue University in 1994-95, and her first coaching position came in 1985-86 as a graduate assistant at the University of Northern Colorado.

Hook attended the University of Maryland for two years and played basketball in 1978-79, helping the Terrapins win the inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in 1979. She transferred to the University of Colorado, where she earned a bachelor’s of science in physical education and coaching in 1982 and played basketball in 1979-80 through 1981-82.

She earned a master degree in physical education/athletic administration from Northern Colorado in 1986 and an administrative degree in education administration from the University of Denver in 1994. She teaches physical education and health at Monarch.

Letitia Hughley
In addition to her 2011 position as a USA U16 assistant coach, Hughley helped the USA North team to a 5-0 record and gold medal as an assistant in 2002 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival.

In seven season as head coach at Mott Community College (2005-06 to present), Hughley has led Mott to three NJCAA Division II National Tournament appearances (2006, 2007 and 2008), including a third-place finish in 2007.

With Hughley at the helm, Mott won a Michigan Community College Athletic Association state title in 2007, as well as NJCAA Region XII titles in 2007 and 2008.

In 2011-12, she led Mott to an 11-19 record and reached the NJCAA District H championship game.

In addition to her position at Mott C.C., Hughley was the head mentor at her alma mater, Flint Northern High School, for eight seasons (1993-94 through 2010-11).  She led Northern to a 316-120 record (.610 winning percentage) during her time, including 14 City Series championships, seven Saginaw Valley Conference crowns, nine district titles, five regional trophies and two state championships (1994 and 1995).

As a player at the University of Washington from 1981-82 to 1984-85, Hughley led the Huskies in scoring, assists, steals and blocked shots as a senior. Her 13 assists against BYU on Dec. 16, 1983, is tied with two other players for UW’s single-game assists record, her 748 field goals made and 342 steals are career records at Washington and she holds the freshmen record for assists with 92. Named All-Northern Pacific Athletic Conference first team in 1984 and 1985, she went on to serve as a graduate assistant in 1985-86.

As a student at Flint Northern, she was a member of six state championship teams, including three in basketball and three in track and field.  She was All-Saginaw Valley second team in her sophomore year and was named to the Saginaw Valley first team her junior and senior years, as well as being named Student Athlete of the Year as a senior. 

She played two seasons professionally in Sweden and Australia and was inducted into the Greater Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

USA Basketball
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.

For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official Web site of USA Basketball at www.usabasketball.com and connect with us on facebook.com/usabasketball, twitter.com/usabasketball and www.youtube.com/therealusabasketball.