Don Showalter Returns As USA Basketball U16 National Team Head Coach
-- Miles Simon, Sharman White To Serve As U16 Assistant Coaches --
Six-time USA Basketball gold medalist head coach Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S., Iowa) has been tabbed to return as head coach for the 2015 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team that will compete in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in the hopes of earning a berth in the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship. Selected to assist Showalter and the 2015 USA U16 squad are prep head coaches Miles Simon (California Supreme AAU) and Sharman White (Miller Grove H.S., Ga.), both of whom tackle their first assignment as a USA Basketball assistant coach after serving stints as a court coach at a USA Junior National Team training camp. The coaching staff was selected by the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
“The committee felt that Don Showalter has done a tremendous job with the USA Junior National Team over the past six years and that having continuity within the program has been a key to the success of our teams,” said Sean Ford, director of USA Basketball’s men’s national team program and chair of the USA Developmental National Team Committee. “Miles Simon and Sharman White are both very accomplished coaches in their own right. Miles has played internationally and did a great job helping prepare our 2012 USA U17 World Championship Team during its training camp. Sharman was a court coach last fall during the USA Junior National Team mini-camp and he fit right in with USA Basketball and its philosophy of trying to prepare athletes for future success. We feel this coaching staff will continue to build on the winning culture created by the previous coaching staffs.”
The 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship will be held June 10-14 in Bahia Blanca, Argentina. Training camp to determine the 12-member USA squad will be held May 27-June 6 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Held every other year, the FIBA Americas U16 Championship was first contested in 2009, and under the direction of Showalter, the USA has earned the gold medal in all three editions, compiling a perfect 15-0 record overall. In addition to the USA, teams competing in the U16 zone championship include: host Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. The top four finishing teams will earn a berth to the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship.
“For me, this gets more exciting every year because you get a new group coming in,” said Showalter, who has directed USA teams to six gold medal finishes as head coach of the USA Basketball Junior National Team since 2009. Under Showalter, USA teams have won three FIBA U17 World Championships (2010, 2012, and 2014) and three FIBA Americas U16 Championships (2009, 2011 and 2013). “It’s really fun to watch the young kids who came into our last mini camp, then to see them again in the spring with their teams and then in our USA Basketball camp this summer. I’m just thrilled to be a part of it again. It’s been a great, great experience from my standpoint. I’m very blessed to be a part of the USA Basketball U16 National Team again.
“I depend a lot on the assistant coaches to give me feedback and to help with the development of the kids, and both Miles and Sharman are proven coaches with their high school and AAU teams. They work very, very well with players. That’s what you want, assistant coaches who work really well with players, who develop great relationships with them as well. I’m looking forward to working with them. Once again it’s going to be an outstanding staff. We’ve had great staffs the previous years, and I think this staff will be right up there with the rest of them.”
In addition to six gold medals over the past six summers, Showalter has earned at least a share of the past six USA Basketball Co-Developmental Coach of the Year honors and owns a perfect 38-0 record at the helm of USA Basketball U16 and U17 teams.
Showalter completed his 40th year as a high school head coach in 2013-14 and his second season rebuilding the program at Iowa City High School. So far in 2014-15, his team is off to a 6-6 start (as of Jan. 19, 2015) in his third year at Iowa City.
Simon, who has worked as college basketball analyst for ESPN since 2008, began coaching the AAU California Supreme 17U in 2011 and advanced to the 2013 Peach Jam quarterfinals, was the No. 1-ranked Nike EYBL (Elite Youth Basketball League) team, boasting the best EYBL record, in 2012.
“It’s just a tremendous honor to be able to coach for USA Basketball,” said Simon, who played on the 1995 U.S. Olympic Festival West Team and returned to USA Basketball as a court coach at the 2012 USA U17 World Championship Team training camp. “When I got the phone call from Sean Ford, I couldn’t believe that out of all the people they could choose from that I was at the top of the list. It’s just really flattering and a super honor to be a part of USA Basketball, which is in my opinion the most prestigious organization basketball-wise in all the world. The fact that I get to be a part of it is just a great honor.
“The short time I spent with Don in 2012, I really learned a lot. The way he teaches the game to the young guys and his attention to detail, how easily he relates to all those players and the winning mentality that he brings, his ‘mind candy’ and quotes of the day, I loved all of that stuff I was able to pick up from him. And I was able to spend some time around Sharman White at the LeBron James Skills Academy. He’s a six-time state champion in the state of Georgia, which is a very competitive basketball state. He does it at the highest level. So, the chance to get to spend some more time around him and maybe pick his brain and see what he’s all about. The little time I got to spend around him at LeBron James, I know he’s a very sharp basketball mind and I’m really looking forward to combining all of our talents and being able to try to get a gold medal for USA Basketball.”
A coach at the annual Nike Skills Academy since 2008, Simon since 2009 has also been on staff at the LeBron James Skills Academy. Further, Simon is a personal basketball skills trainer and has worked with 2008 Olympic gold medalist Chris Bosh the past four summers and 2014 FIBA World Cup gold medalist Klay Thompson, since Thompson was in college. Simon also has served as the pre-NBA Draft trainer for several athletes, including Landry Fields in 2010 and Jimmer Fredette in 2011.
Inducted into the University of Arizona Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Pacific-10 Conference Hall of Fame in 2008, Simon earned 1997 NCAA Final Four MVP honors after leading the Wildcats to the NCAA crown. His professional career saw him play in the NBA; Europe, where he played in Italy, Israel and Turkey and was the 2001 Italian League MVP; and the CBA, where he earned 2002 Newcomer of the Year and MVP honors. In leading the Dakota Wizards to the 2002 CBA championship, Simon was tabbed MVP of the 2002 CBA Playoffs.
The 1998 consensus All-America first team member, as selected by the Associated Press, National Association of Basketball Coaches and The Sporting News, Simon returned to Arizona for three seasons (2005-06 through 2007-08) as an assistant coach.
The 2014 USA Today All-USA Coach of the Year, White has guided Miller Grove to six-straight Georgia state titles, winning the 2009-2012 Georgia Class 4A and 2013 and 2014 Georgia Class 5A championships. White, who also serves as the school’s athletic director and has held both roles since the school opened in 2005, built his program from scratch and in three seasons captured his first regional crown.
“First of all, it is an extreme honor to be representing our great country in such a way as to coach the game I love,” said White, whose first USA Basketball introduction came as a court coach during the 2014 USA Junior National Team mini-camp, held in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “I am humbled by this honor and do not take it for granted. When Sean Ford reached out to me to formally ask if I would be interested, I could not wait for him to finish getting it out so I could emphatically say yes. This opportunity has to rank up there with one of the best experiences I could ask for in this game.
“I am excited to be working with coach Don Showalter and the staff of USA Basketball. I have gotten to know coach Show very well from speaking on the Nike clinic circuit as well as working at Nike Skills Academies together. He truly epitomizes what USA Basketball is all about as well as those who work alongside him. The chemistry of the staff along with the culture that is USA Basketball provides for a great learning experience for myself.”
White, who has advanced Miller Grove to seven state semifinals and won six regional titles (2008-10, 2012-14) has been recognized by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club and Georgia Sports Writers Association as the 2013 Georgia Coach of the Year. The 2013 Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Class 5A Coach of the Year, White three times (2010-12) earned Georgia Class 4A Coach of the Year honors and was the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Georgia Class 4A Coach of the Year
Among White’s notable former players is two-time USA Basketball gold medalist Tony Parker, who won gold medals at the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship.
Prior to arriving at Miller Grove, White coached at Georgia’s Carver High School and in his final season, was named the 2004 Georgia Class 2A Coach of the Year after leading Carver to the regional title and the state championship game.
In 18 seasons (1996-97 through 2013-14) as a high school head coach, White has compiled an overall record of 315-84 (.789 winning percentage). Now in the middle of his 19th season, White’s squad is currently 19-3 (through Jan. 21, 2015) and ranked No. 1 in Georgia’s Class 5A.
In addition to Ford, members of the USA Basketball Men's Developmental National Team Committee include AAU appointees Rich Gray (St. Louis Eagles, Mo.), and Boo Williams (Boo Williams, Va.), NFHS appointees Herman Harried (Lake Clifton H.S., Md.) and John Olive (Torrey Pines H.S., Calif.), at-large representative Evan Daniels (Scout.com) and athlete representatives Chauncey Billups (2010 FIBA World Championship gold medalist and a member of three USA Basketball Teams) and Gerry McNamara (2005 World University Games Team).