Court Coaches Announced for 2018 USA Men’s U17 World Cup Team Training Camp
Five court coaches today were announced for the 2018 USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Cup Team Training Camp, including Sam Brand (Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Md.), Rob Brost (Bolingbrook H.S., Ill.), Harvey Kitani (Rolling Hills Preparatory School, Calif.), Theo Robertson and Sharman White (Pace Academy, Ga.).
The court coaches will assist the USA U17 World Cup coaching staff of head coach Don Showalter (USA Basketball youth division coach director) and assistant coaches Scott Fitch (Fairport H.S., N.Y.) and Stan Waterman (Sanford School, Del.) during training camp, which will take place June 15-18 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens who are 17 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 2001).
Featuring 16 national teams, the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup will be played June 26-July 8 in Rosario and Santa Fe, Argentina.
“The committee is confident that these five court coaches will provide teaching and support to all of the athletes at training camp, and we are grateful that they are willing to commit their time to helping make sure our 2018 USA U17 World Cup Team is a strong one,” said Sean Ford (USA Basketball men’s national team director), chair of the USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team Committee, which is responsible for selecting the U17 athletes and coaching staff. “We know they will be a tremendous help to the coaching staff and the athletes as everyone works together to have a competitive and productive training camp.”
Brand and Kitani return for their second stints as USA Basketball court coaches after having also served as court coaches at the 2017 USA Men’s U16 National Team training camp. White previously helped the USA to a gold medal as an assistant coach for the 2016 USA U17 World Cup Team, as well as coaching at the 2014 and 2015 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team October Minicamps.
At the helm of his alma mater for eight seasons (2010-11 to present), Brand has compiled a 142-59 record (.706 winning percentage) at Poly.
In 2017-18, he led his team to a 23-6 season and captured a second-straight Maryland 3A state title, and he was named as a 2018 Baltimore Sun All-Metro Boys Basketball Co-Coach of the Year.
In addition to 2017 and 2018 state crowns, Brand has led his teams to three city championship games (2016, 2017 and 2018), winning the title in 2016 and 2018, and he captured regional championships in 2013 and 2017.
Brand was named the 2017 Prep Hoops Maryland Coach of the Year and was co-winner of the 2017 SportsMajors Maryland Coach of the Year award.
“It is an honor to be recognized by an organization with the prestige of USA Basketball,” Brand said. “Basketball has been an important part of my life, and I have loved the game since I can remember, so to work with the top program in the world is a dream come true.
“I am going to bring positive energy and enthusiasm to every day and share as much of my experience with the game as possible,” Brand added. “I also hope to show how appreciative I am to be a part of this experience by giving my best effort, and I will be encouraging the players to do the same.”
Having completed his 11th season at Bolingbrook (2007-08 to present), Brost is the winningest coach in school history with an overall record at Bolingbrook of 223-81 (.734). He has won at least 22 games in five of the past six seasons.
In 2017-18, he led his team to a 22-7 record and reached the Class 4A Sectional Final, and in 2016-17, he led his team to a 30-2 record and a third-place finish in the IHSA 4A state tournament.
“It is an honor and blessing to be selected to represent the USA as a court coach,” Brost said. “I could not be more excited to work with such an esteemed group of coaches, led by coach Showalter, and the tremendous athletes that represent the best our sport has to offer at the U17 level.
“I take tremendous pride in the responsibility we have as coaches to grow our game through USA Basketball,” Brost added. “This opportunity represents one of the highest honors in our profession, and I am thankful, grateful and ready to get started.”
In two seasons at the helm of Rolling Hills Prep (2016-17 to present), Kitani owns a 51-9 mark (.850). Including 35 years as the boys basketball coach at Fairfax High School (Calif.), Kitani owns a career head coach record of 853-284 (.750) over 37 seasons.
In 2017-18, he guided Rolling Hills Prep to a 22-7 record and a California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section District Four championship.
In his first season at Rolling Hills Prep, Kitani steered the 2016-17 Huskies to a 29-2 record and the program’s first CIF Division 5 state championship. Kitani became just the second coach in CIF history to win the title at two different schools.
Prior to arriving at Rolling Hills Prep, Kitani spent 35 years (1981-82 through 2015-16) as a physical education teacher and boys basketball head coach at Fairfax High School, where he led the Lions to three Los Angeles City Section Division I titles, four overall city championships and state crowns in 2004 and 2007.
“It will be an honor to serve as court coach,” Kitani said. “I’m thankful and grateful for the opportunity to help coach at the USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Cup Team training camp.
“During my career, I have been fortunate to work with many coaches and players,” Kitani added. “I hope I can contribute in any area assigned and help make the athletes better.”
Robertson, who competed as a student-athlete for the University of California from 2005-06 to 2009-10, has experience as a staff member with the Golden State Warriors, including during the Warrior’s 2015 championship season, and the Los Angeles Lakers.
In 2016-17, he was an assistant coach with the Lakers, and prior to that, he spent two seasons with the Golden State Warriors, as a video intern in 2014-15 and as video coordinator/player development in 2015-16.
During his career at Cal, Robertson was a two-year captain and a leader on the 2010 Pacific-10 Conference championship team. He finished his career as Cal’s all-time 3-point shooter, making 44.0 percent of his 3-point attempts, and he ranks among Cal's top 25 career scorers with 1,315 total points. He earned All-Pac-10 second team honors as a senior in 2010 and was named to the 2010 Pac-10 All-Tournament Team, and in 2006 he earned Pac-10 All-Freshman honorable mention.
“It is a tremendous honor to serve as a court coach for the USA Men's U17 World Cup training camp,” Robertson said. “The opportunity to be a part of USA Basketball is a lifelong dream. I look forward to working with coach Showalter, the entire USA Basketball staff and the talented group of young players in preparing to represent USA Basketball in competition at the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup.”
In May of 2018, White took a position as the associate director of athletics at Pace Academy in Georgia.
In 2016-17 and 2017-18, he was an assistant coach for the Georgia State men’s basketball team, during which time he helped the program to an 44-24 record (.647), including a 24-11 campaign and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017-18.
Prior to Georgia State, White was a high school coach for 20 seasons (1996-97 through 2015-16), and he owns a career high school head coaching record of 373-91 (.804).
Eleven of those seasons (2005-06 to 2015-16) were as the head boys basketball coach and athletic director at Miller Grove High School in Lithonia, Georgia. At the helm of the Miller Grove, White went 268-60 record (.817), including six-straight state championships.
The 2014 USA Today All-USA Coach of the Year, White guided Miller Grove to the 2009-2012 Georgia Class 4A titles and the 2013 and 2014 Georgia Class 5A championships.
“It is always a tremendous honor and pleasure to be able to serve as part of the USA Basketball staff,” White said. “The culture that is USA Basketball is one that is synonymous with excellence and continues to be the standard for the game globally. Being able to serve as a court coach gives me an opportunity to assist in the process of preparing the next great group of players for a successful mission at the U17 Championships.
“During training camp, I look forward to contributing to the intense training and development of the players participating as well as give insight as needed to coach Don Showalter and staff as the final team is selected,” White added. “Having previously been a part of this process will allow me to be able to provide assistance in various areas of this experience.”
Twenty-four athletes were announced as participating in the training camp on May 2, and the training camp roster is available online.
Finalists, for the team are expected to be named on June 18 and will continue training camp at the USOTC. The official, 12-member roster will be named prior to the team’s departure for the competition on June 23.