Three Collegiate Coaches Named Court Coaches For 2016 Men's U18 National Team Training Camp
Chris Mack from Xavier University, Jerry Nichols from Southwest Tennessee Community College and Joe Niland from the University of Mobile, have been appointed as court coaches for the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team training camp. The coaching selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Jim Boeheim (Syracuse).
“In Chris Mack, Jerry Nichols and Joe Niland, the committee has selected three successful coaches who will be tremendous assets during the USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team training camp,” Boeheim said. “The challenge of preparing a team for international competition falls heavily on the coaching staffs, which is why USA Basketball is committed to engaging with the best coaches in the country.”
Training camp for the 2016 USA U18 National Team will feature 26 athletes and will take place from June 14-18 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Training camp will resume July 11-15 in Houston, and the final 12-member team will be announced before the team departs for Valdivia, Chile. The USA U18 National Team will play in the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship from July 19-23.
The 2016 USBWA Henry Iba National Coach of the Year, Mack joins USA Basketball after recording the best record in his seven years at Xavier. The Musketeers finished the 2015-16 season 28-6 and 14-4 in the Big East, which led to the highest national poll ranking in school history and best NCAA Tournament seed in school history.
Now second on Xavier’s all-time wins list, Mack has recorded a 162-77 (.678 winning percentage) mark over his seven years.
"I'm very honored, as one can imagine, to represent USA Basketball this summer,” Mack said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with such talented coaches and players during my time in Colorado Springs. I'm very appreciative of the trust USA Basketball has placed in me."
Xavier has made trips to the NCAA Tournament in six of seven years under Mack’s reign, including Sweet 16 appearances in 2010, 2012 and 2015. This past season marked the 17th NCAA Tournament appearance for Mack, including three as a player and 14 on the coaching staffs at Xavier and Wake Forest University.
After compiling a 30-5 record in the 2015-16 season, Nichols improved his record at Southwest to 77-13 (.856 winning percentage) through three seasons (2013-14 to present).
“It is a great honor to be recognized and selected as a court coach for the USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team,” said Nichols. “Having the opportunity to work with the best players and coaches as well as represent the country is something that one could only dream of. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and plan to provide as much assistance as I can to help select the best team to compete this year.”
In 2013-14, his first season as head coach at Southwest, Nichols guided the Saluqis to a 23-4 record and a No. 13 ranking in the final NJCAA Division 1 regular season poll. Nichols followed with a 24-4 record and a No. 11 ranking in the final poll after the 2014-15 season.
Nichols played college basketball at Walters State Community College (Tenn.) and Arkansas State University. After his playing career ended, Nichols was an assistant coach at Walters State and then Union College (Ky.). Nichols previously served as the men’s basketball head coach and athletic director at Motlow State Community College for four seasons (2009-10 to 2012-13), compiling an 80-31 overall record (.721 winning percentage) and twice was named Tennessee Community College Athletic Association Coach of the Year.
In his 23 seasons as a head coach at the collegiate level, Niland had directed teams to a 443-283 all-time record (.610 winning percentage).
In 17 seasons (1999-2000 to present) at Mobile, Niland owns a record of 316-223 (.586) as head coach, which ranks first all-time at the school. He has taken the Rams to the NAIA national tournament five times and advanced to the 2004 NAIA Final Four. Niland, who also serves as Mobile’s athletic director, has beaten two Division I programs (Alabama State in 2001-02 and Louisiana-Lafayette in 2009-10) during his career at the school.
“It is a great honor to serve as a court coach for the selection of the USA U18 National Team,” Niland said. “The opportunity to work with some of our country’s finest coaches and young players is an incredible opportunity.”
Niland also was head coach at Spring Hill College from 1993-94 to 1998-99. He is the school’s second all-time winningest coach with a record of 127-60 in six seasons.
Mack, Nichols and Niland will assist the USA U18 coaching staff comprised of head coach Shaka Smart (Texas) as well as assistant coaches Kevin Ollie (Connecticut) and Mark Turgeon (Maryland).
Participating in this year’s 2016 USA U18 National Team training camp are: Jarrett Allen (St. Stephen's Episcopal School/Round Rock, Texas); Mohamed Bamba (Westtown School/New York, N.Y.); James Banks (La Lumiere School, Ind./Decatur, Ga.); Brian Bowen II (La Lumiere School, Ind./Saginaw, Mich.); Matt Coleman (Oak Hill Academy/Norfolk, Va.); Javin DeLaurier (St.Anne's-Belfield School/Shipman, Va.); Hamidou Diallo (Putnam Science Academy/Corona, N.Y.); Jalek Felton (Mullins H.S./Mullins, S.C.); Markelle Fultz (DeMatha Catholic H.S./Upper Marlboro, Md.); Terrance Ferguson (Advanced Prep International/Houston, Texas); Quade Green (Newmann-Goretti H.S./Philadelphia, Pa.); Darren “D.J.” Harvey (DeMatha Catholic H.S./Bowie, Md.); Kevin Huerter (Shenendehowa Central H.S./Clifton Park, N.Y.); Brandon McCoy (Cathedral Catholic H.S./Sacramento, Calif.); David Nickelberry (Windermere Prep/Orlando, Fla.); John Petty (J.O. Johnson H.S./Huntsville, Ala.); Shamorie Ponds (Thomas Jefferson H.S./Brooklyn, N.Y.); Michael Porter Jr. (Father Tolton Catholic H.S./Columbia, Mo.); Mitchell Robinson (Chalmette H.S./New Orleans, La.); Jeremiah Tilmon II (La Lumiere Academy/East Saint Louis, Ill.); Lonnie Walker (Reading H.S./Reading, Pa.); M.J. Walker (Jonesboro H.S./College Park, Ga.); Paul ‘P.J.’ Washington (Findlay Prep, Nev./Frisco, Texas); Kris Wilkes (North Central H.S./Indianapolis, Ind.); Cassius Winston (University of Detroit Jesuit H.S./Detroit, Mich.); and Trae Young (Norman North H.S./Norman, Okla.).
2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship
The 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. The top four finishing teams will qualify for the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship.
Earning automatic berths to the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship from North America are Canada and the United States; Argentina, Brazil and Chile punched their tickets by finishing in the top three of the 2015 South American U17 Championship; while Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands took the three berths available from the 2015 Centrobasket U17 Championship.
The USA team, playing in Group B, will open preliminary play July 19 against Puerto Rico, followed by a July 20 contest against host Chile and a July 21 clash versus the U.S. Virgin Islands. Group A teams include Argentina, Brazil, Canada and Dominican Republic.
USA men's teams are 48-2 all-time in the U18 / Junior World Championship Qualifiers and won gold in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2014, while capturing silver in 2008 and bronze in 2002.
The list of players who have competed for USA U18 national teams include: Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1994); Carmelo Anthony (2002); Michael Beasley (2006); Chris Bosh (2002); Dee Brown (2002); Nick Collison (1998); Jonny Flynn (2006); Spencer Hawes (2006); Grant Hill (1990); Allan Houston (1990); Andre Iguodala (2002); Kyrie Irving (2010); Stanley Johnson (2014); Stephon Marbury (1994); Mike Miller (1998); Quentin Richardson (1998); Austin Rivers (2010); Kyle Singler (2006); Marcus Smart (2012); Jarnell Stokes (2012); Rasheed Sulaimon (2012); Kemba Walker (2008); Deron Williams (2002); and Justise Winslow (2014).