USA Basketball announced on April 7, 2016, that University of Texas head coach Shaka Smart will guide the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team in its quest for a fourth straight U18 gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
Smart will lead the USA at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship July 19-23 in Valdivia, Chile. Not only is a gold medal at stake, the top four finishing teams will earn a qualifying berth in the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship.
Smart helped USA Basketball teams to gold medals at the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship. Overall as a USA Basketball assistant coach, Smart is 14-0.
In his first season as head coach for the University of Texas in 2015-16, Smart led his team to a 20-13 record and an NCAA Tournament appearance. Prior to that, he was a head coach at Virginia Commonwealth University for six seasons (2009-10 to 2014-15), where he compiled a 163-56 record (.744 winning percentage) and made five NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2011 Final Four.
He also has 10 seasons of experience as an assistant coach at five different schools, and as an assistant coach, he has an all-time record of 220-97 (.694 winning percentage).
“It’s a tremendous honor to coach the USA U18 National Team and represent our country in international play,” Smart said. “The opportunity to work with Kevin Ollie and Mark Turgeon is something I’m extremely excited about. They are two of the best coaches in the country, and I’m looking forward to learning a great deal from each of them.”