USA World Cup Qualifying Team Assistant Coaches Announced
Mo McHone And John Thompson III Named Assistant Coaches For November 2017 and February 2018 USA World Cup Qualifying Games
Veteran USA Basketball coach Mo McHone and former Georgetown University head coach John Thompson III have been named assistant coaches for the USA’s November 2017 and February 2018 FIBA World Cup Qualifying Games. The duo will assist former NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy, who was announced on July 5 as head coach of the USA Basketball men’s national teams that will compete in the FIBA World Cup Qualifying games.
The United States is scheduled to open play facing Puerto Rico (site TBD) on Nov. 23, 2017, and the USA will host Mexico in Greensboro, N.C., on Nov. 26, 2017. Tickets for the Nov. 26 USA-Mexico game at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Fieldhouse are available online at www.ticketmaster.com, the Greensboro Coliseum box office and Ticketmaster’s charge-by-phone system at 1-800-745-3000. For additional ticket information visit greensboro.gleague.nba.com/usa/ or call 336-907-3600.
The second preliminary round window features the USA playing home games (sites TBA) against Cuba on Feb. 23, 2018, and versus Puerto Rico on Feb. 26, 2018.
The third and final preliminary round window sees the USA play on the road versus Mexico on June 28, 2018, and against Cuba on July 1, 2018 (the full Americas World Cup Qualifying schedule is available at https://www.usab.com/mens/national-team/wcq-schedule.aspx).
“Mo (McHone) was incredibly important and valuable in our AmeriCup run this summer,” said Van Gundy. “His knowledge of FIBA Basketball, his understanding of the G League players and his in-game coaching adjustments were vital to our success. John Thompson III is coming off an incredibly long and successful tenure at Georgetown that included a run to the Final Four in 2007. I have long admired how his teams executed with such precision and force. We are going to miss Ty Ellis' (AmeriCup assistant coach and G League Northern Arizona Suns head coach) passion and energy, so we were fortunate to be able to get such a successful coach to replace him.”
Van Gundy and McHone recently led the USA Men’s AmeriCup Team to a gold medal finish and 5-0 record at the FIBA AmeriCup 2017. Thompson, son of 1988 U.S. Olympic Team and longtime Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr., boasts of prior USA Basketball coaching experience having served as an assistant with the 2008 USA Basketball U18 National Team that won a silver medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
Players selected to represent the USA in the FIBA World Cup Qualifying games are expected to primarily be from the NBA G League.
“Coming back and getting to be with another USA team is really great for me, I enjoy it so much and it just kind of keeps my heart ticking and I’m excited about it,” said McHone, who owns a 21-8 overall record as a USA Basketball head or assistant coach. “I had a wonderful experience with coach Van Gundy at the AmeriCup. I felt like I learned a lot of basketball. At my age, I honestly felt like it was a learning experience for me basketball wise, and I was extremely impressed with everything we did. I don’t personally know coach Thompson, but I do know he did a great job and he comes from great coaching lineage and I really do look forward to meeting and working with him.”
McHone, who most recently assisted Van Gundy and the gold medal-winning 2017 USA AmeriCup Team, has also served as head coach of three USA Basketball teams that won gold at the 1997 Tournament of the Americas, silver at the 1999 Pan American Games and finished fourth at the 2005 FIBA America Championship and earned the USA a qualifying berth into the 2006 FIBA World Championship.
He boasts of professional coaching experience in the NBA, NBA G League, Continental Basketball Association (CBA) and internationally in South Korea.
McHone won back-to-back CBA championships with different teams, leading the Yakima Sun Kings in 1995 and the Sioux Falls Skyforce in 1996 to CBA titles. All told, he boasts of 11 years of experience in the G League and CBA. He also served as head coach with the San Antonio Spurs for 31 games (11-20) in 1983-84 and spent nine seasons as an assistant coach for San Antonio, Cleveland, Los Angeles Clippers and Detroit, and served in various positions with professional teams in South Korea for 13 years, winning a championship while with the Samsung Thunders.
“It is a privilege to be selected as an assistant with the USA Basketball Men's World Cup Qualifying Team,” said Thompson. “I am honored to be part of the great tradition that USA Basketball has built, and I look forward to supporting coach Van Gundy and our players in any way possible.”
Thompson brings to USA Basketball 17 years of collegiate head coaching experience and a stellar 346-193 (.641 winning percentage) all-time record.
Taking the coaching reigns at Georgetown in 2004, he directed the Hoyas for 13 seasons and compiled 278-151 (.653) overall mark, including a 131-94 record in Big East Conference play. He led Georgetown to 11 straight post-season tournaments, including eight NCAA tournaments and three NITs, won three Big East Conference regular season titles, advanced teams to three Big East Tournament championships, winning the tourney title in 2007.
After leading the Hoyas to the 2005-06 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, Thompson, in 2006-07, guided the Georgetown to a 30-7 record, the Big East Conference regular season and tournament championships and the NCAA Final Four.
Thompson is a two-time winner of the Black Coaches Association (BCA) Male Coach of the Year Award, was named the 2007 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coach of the Year and was the 2013 Big East Conference Coach of the Year.
Serving four seasons (2000-01 – 2003-04) as head coach at his alma mater, Princeton University, his teams compiled a 68-42 overall record, won or shared three Ivy League titles, while making three post-season tournament appearances, including two NCAA tournaments (2001 and 2004) and one NIT (2002).
Thompson also served as an assistant coach at Princeton from 1995- 2000 and played basketball at Princeton while majoring in politics. As a forward, he played four seasons (1984-85 – 1987-88) for legendary coach Pete Carril and ranks fourth on Princeton's all-time assist leader list with 347. He was co-captain of the 1988 team and shared the B.F. Bunn trophy that year as one of the Tigers' Most Valuable Players.
2017-18 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers
Featuring 16 national teams from North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America, the FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament for the Americas zone features four preliminary round groups, each group consists of four teams.
The USA was drawn into Group C, and is joined by Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Group A consists of Argentina, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay; Group B is made up by Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela; Group D consist of Bahamas, Canada, Dominican Republic and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Under FIBA’s new competition format, the next FIBA Basketball World Cup will be played in 2019 and then held every four years. A total of 80 national teams from FIBA’s four regions of Africa, Americas, Asia (which now includes Oceania) and Europe will compete in the FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers over 15 months looking to earn a qualifying berth in the 32-team FIBA World Cup competition that will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China. The 32 qualifying teams will be divided into eight preliminary groups consisting of four teams each. All told, 92 World Cup games will be played over 16 days.
FIBA World Cup Qualifying games start in November 2017, and national teams in each FIBA zone were drawn into four-team preliminary round groups and will play home and away games within their zone to qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 and the FIBA Continental Cups 2021.
Each nation will play two games per window and a total of six windows will be held to qualify teams for the 2019 World Cup. Each competition window is nine days. The first-round competition windows dates are: Nov, 20-28, 2017; Feb. 19-27, 2018; and June 25-July 3, 2018; while the second-round dates are set for Aug. 30-Sept. 8, 2018; Nov. 26-Dec. 4, 2018; and Feb. 18-26, 2019.
Each FIBA zone will qualify a set number of teams for the 2019 World Cup based on their finish in the qualifiers. The top five finishing teams in Africa; the top seven placing teams in the Americas; the top seven finishing teams plus host China in the Asia zone; and the top 12 finishing teams from Europe will qualify for the 2019 World Cup.
About USA Basketball
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and chaired by retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, 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, and for the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety.