Experienced Head Coaches Selected As Court Coaches For USA Women’s National Team Mini-Camp
Sept. 30, 2013 • Colorado Springs, Colo.
Four successful and experienced head coaches, including DePaul University’s Doug Bruno, Chicago Sky’s Pokey Chatman, University of Hartford’s Jennifer Rizzotti and University of South Carolina’s Dawn Staley, have been selected court coaches for the 2013 USA Women’s National Team mini-camp Oct. 4-6 at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion practice gym in Las Vegas. The Minnesota Lynx’ Cheryl Reeve was also selected as a court coach, however, she will be unable to attend after leading the Lynx to its third-straight WNBA Finals.
Chosen by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Steering Committee, the court coaches will work with 2013-16 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma and the 28 athletes participating in the mini-camp.
“Certainly when you’ve got a lot of players in a short period of time, you do need a coaching staff that knows how to evaluate talent, how to get things done quickly. I think the experience factor is there, whether it’s been coaching at a high level, former Olympians, gold-medal winning coaches, we’ve got that in our court coaches,” said Auriemma. “I’ve obviously worked with Doug a lot through the (2010 FIBA) World Championship and the (2012) Olympics and we’re very comfortable and have a pretty good idea of what we need to do. But, the same holds true for the coaching staff as it does for the players. We’re not just trying to win the World Championship next year, but also we’re trying to prepare for who the future coaches might be as well.”
Co-recipient of the 2006 and 2007 USA Basketball Developmental National Team Coach of the Year awards, Bruno was an assistant coach for the 2009-12 USA National Team that captured gold medals at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2012 Olympic Games. Prior to his time with the USA National Team, Bruno headed up a pair of age-based teams in back-to-back summers, compiling a perfect 16-0 record and earning gold medals at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship.
“Working with USA Basketball and the greatest women's basketball players and coaches in the world is always a thrill and an honor,” said Bruno, who owns a 531-294 (.644 winning percentage) in his 27 years at DePaul. “USA Basketball's leadership of Jim Tooley, Carol Callan and Jerry Colangelo is the best. Coach Geno Auriemma is an excellent teacher and coach, a proven winner and an even better leader. The quest for the 2014 World Championship and ultimately the 2016 Rio Olympics begins. Any small contribution I can make to that cause is special and a cause I truly embrace and cherish.”
Returning to USA Basketball after serving as an assistant coach for the 2005 USA World University Games Team that captured the gold medal with a perfect 7-0 mark, Chatman this season led the Sky to a 24-10 record, the team’s first winning record, the WNBA Eastern Conference regular season title and the first playoff berth in franchise history. Chatman also boasts extensive international coaching experience. She was head coach for the 2009 and 2011 Slovakia National Team and coached the professional club team Spartak Moscow Region Vidnoje in Russia, for six years, first as an assistant from 2007-08 through 2008-09 and then as head coach from 2009-10 through 2012-13. While at Spartak, Chatman led the squad to a 54-17 record in EuroLeague action, including a perfect 16-0 season in 2009-10 to capture the EuroLeague title with Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) on the roster.
“I have fond memories of USA Basketball both as a player and coach and look forward to another great opportunity to work with the best in the business,” said Chatman.
At the helm of the Lynx for four seasons, Reeve has compiled a 93-43 (.683 winning percentage) overall record, including an 80-22 (.793 winning percentage) mark over the past three seasons. After a 13-21 finish in 2010, Reeve helped orchestrate the second-best turnaround in league history, capping the regular season with a 27-7 record and then winning the WNBA title. For her efforts, Reeve was named the 2011 WNBA Coach of the Year. The Lynx in 2012 again finished at 27-7 and advanced to the WNBA Finals. This season she guided the Lynx to the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference standings with a 26-8 record and advanced the Lynx to its third WNBA Finals appearance in as many years. Prior to being named head coach at the Lynx, Reeve spent nine years as an assistant in the league at Charlotte (2001-02, 2004-05), Clevelend (2003) and Detroit (2006-09), where she aided the Shock to a pair of WNBA titles.
“The first thing that comes to mind is what a great honor it is to even be considered to be a part of USA Basketball in any capacity,” said Reeve. “I’m the type, I’d be willing to be the water girl or whatever they need, get some towels, let alone to stand alongside someone like Geno Auriemma in that setting. It would just be a great thrill.”
A 14-year (1999-00 to present) head coach at Hartford, Rizzotti tackles her fourth USA Basketball coaching assignment. She most recently piloted the 2011 USA U19 World Championship Team to an 8-1 record, the gold medal and was named the 2011 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year. She also was head coach of the 2010 USA U18 National Team that went 5-0 en route to winning gold at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship and first served as an assistant coach for the 2007 USA U18 National Team that captured gold. A three-time America East Conference Coach of the Year, Rizzotti owns a 276-162 (.630 winning percentage) overall record at Hartford and has advanced the Hawks to postseason play 10 times, including each of the past nine seasons.
“It’s always a thrill for me to get a call from USA Basketball,” said Rizzotti. “It’s an honor to be asked to assist at the USA National Team’s training camp and work with the best coaches and players in the country. It’s also a privilege to work side by side with Geno Auriemma, this country’s premier women’s basketball coach.”
No stranger to USA Basketball, Staley as an athlete won a total of 10 gold medals, including three Olympic and two FIBA World Championship gold medals, one bronze medal and seven international invitational titles from 1989-2004. She then transitioned into the coaching ranks, received her first USA Basketball coaching assignment as an assistant to the 2006 USA World Championship Team and was later asked to remain on board through the 2008 Olympics. With Staley on the sideline, the USA National Team from 2006-08 posted a 32-2 record, captured the 2008 Olympic and 2007 FIBA Americas Championship gold medals and the 2006 FIBA World Championship bronze medal. Staley also served as head coach for the 2007 USA Pan American Games Team that claimed gold with a perfect 5-0 record.
“USA Basketball has been an important part of my career, and the opportunity to work with the best women's basketball players in our country as we start preparing for the 2016 Olympics is exciting,” said Staley, who in five years at South Carolina has compiled a 92-66 (.582 winning percentage) record and posted back-to-back 25-win seasons over the past two years.
The camp will be used to identify players for the USA National Team pool, from which the 2014 USA World Championship Team will be selected.
Accepting invitations to attend the mini-camp were: Jayne Appel (San Antonio Silver Stars), Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Bird, DeWanna Bonner (Phoenix Mercury), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun), Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky), Skylar Diggins (Tulsa Shock), Stefanie Dolson (University of Connecticut), Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury), Fowles, Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury), Lindsey Harding (Los Angeles Sparks), Bria Hartley (University of Connecticut), Briann January (Indiana Fever), Glory Johnson (Tulsa Shock), Jantel Lavender (Los Angeles Sparks), Kayla McBride (University of Notre Dame), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (University of Connecticut), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks), Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty), Danielle Robinson (San Antonio Silver Stars), Odyssey Sims (Baylor University), Breanna Stewart (University of Connecticut), Taurasi, Alyssa Thomas (University of Maryland), Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago Sky), Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx), Monica Wright (Minnesota Lynx) and Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars).
Augustus, Moore, Whalen and Wright from the Lynx and McCoughtry from the Dream have advanced to the WNBA Finals and will be unable to attend the training camp.
The training camp marks the beginning of a new quadrennium for the USA Basketball Women’s National Team, which over the next four years will compete in the 2014 FIBA World Championship (Sept. 27 - Oct. 5 in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey), and if the USA qualifies, the 2016 Summer Olympic Games (Aug. 5 - 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), as well as additional USA training camps and exhibition games.
USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director Carol Callan serves as the chair of the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Steering Committee, which includes USA Basketball Executive Director/CEO Jim Tooley; WNBA appointee Reneé Brown, WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations; NCAA appointee Chris Plonsky, Director of Women's Athletics/Athletics External Services, University of Texas; and three-time Olympic and two-time FIBA World Championship gold medalist Katie Smith, who played in nearly 200 games for USA Basketball from 1993-2008, and serves as the athlete representative.
FIBA World Championship
The FIBA World Championship has been contested essentially every four years since 1953, and the United States captured the first two gold medals before the beginning of the Soviet domination of women’s basketball was kicked-off at the 1959 World Championship. The former USSR put together a string of five straight golds (1959, 1964, 1967, 1971, 1975), before the United States reclaimed gold in 1979. The Soviet Union in 1983 earned its final FIBA World Championship crown as the USA went on to capture five of the next six World Championships (1986, 1990, 1998, 2002, 2010). The only other nations to break into the gold medal column at this event are Australia in 2006, and Brazil, which defeated the USA in the 1994 semifinals and went on to take first that year.
The USA owns a record eight gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals in FIBA World Championship play, while compiling an all-time 97-21 record at the event. In 2010, the most recent World Championship, the U.S. finished with a perfect 9-0 record and the gold medal.
Turkey, the host country, which also claimed bronze in the FIBA Europe Championship; the United States, which earned its berth by virtue of claiming the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games; Angola (gold medalist) and Mozambique (silver medalist) from FIBA Africa; Cuba (gold medalist), Canada (silver medalist) and Brazil (bronze medalist) from FIBA Americas; Spain (gold medalist), France (silver medalist), Serbia (fourth place), Belarus (fifth place) and Czech Republic (sixth place) from FIBA Europe; Australia (gold medalist) from FIBA Oceania and three additional teams to be determined through the FIBA Asia Championship, the lone remaining FIBA zone qualifying tournament in 2013.
The 17th FIBA World Championship format will feature a round-robin competition in preliminary round play with four groups comprised of four teams each. The top two teams from each preliminary group advance to the Oct. 3 quarterfinals, with the winners competing in the Oct. 4 medal semifinals and the gold medal game will be contested Oct. 5.
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 U.S. 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 competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
During the 2009-12 quadrennium, 1,273 men and women players and 235 coaches participated in USA Basketball, including USA Basketball teams and trials, and USA Basketball 3x3 FIBA championships.
USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams between 2009-12 compiled an impressive 264-35 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the Pan American Games, the World University Games, the Nike Hoop Summit and in exhibition games.
USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics; men’s and women’s FIBA World Championships (Basketball World Cup); men’s and women’s FIBA U19 World Championship; men’s and women’s FIBA U17 World Championships; men’s and women’s U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships; and FIBA 3x3 Women’s World Championship and FIBA 3x3 Women’s U18 World Championship. USA Basketball also currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA’s world ranking categories, including combined, men’s, women’s, boys and girls. USA Basketball also currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA’s world ranking categories, including combined, men’s, women’s, boys and girls.