Assistant Coaches for September USA World Cup Qualifying Team Announced
USA to Open Second-Round Window Playing Uruguay in Las Vegas on Sept. 14 and at Panama on Sept. 17
NBA G League Westchester Knicks head coach Mike Miller and former Georgetown University head coach John Thompson III today were announced as assistant coaches for the September USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team. The USA World Cup Qualifying Team again will be led by head coach Jeff Van Gundy, who has compiled a 10-1 record as head coach of USA Basketball teams since August 2017.
After finishing 5-1 and first in Group C in first-round action, the USA opens the FIBA Americas World Cup Qualifying second-round facing Group A’s No. 2 seed, Uruguay (4-2), on Friday, Sept. 14 (7 p.m. PDT) at Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Tickets for the USA-Uruguay game are on sale now andare $20 (plus fees) for general admission and $60 (plus fees) for courtside. For ticket information call 702-739-FANS (3267) or visit USAB.com/WCQ.
The USA will complete the September competition window with an away game versus Panama (3-3) on Sept. 17 in Panama City.
Training camp for the USA World Cup Qualifying Team is scheduled to begin Sept. 6 in Las Vegas. The full USA World Cup Qualifying Team training schedule is available at usab.com/mens/wc-qualifying/training-schedule.aspx.
“We’re fortunate to have John (Thompson) back as an assistant for a fourth World Cup Qualifying window, and Mike Miller is an experienced collegiate and G League coach who will be a great addition to our coaching staff,” said Van Gundy. “Our goal is to qualify the United States for the 2019 FIBA World Cup and to do so while representing our country and USA Basketball in a manner that makes all Americans proud.”
The September USA World Cup Qualifying team is expected to be comprised of G League players and players who have been playing overseas.
“I am honored to be a part of USA Basketball and represent our country in the upcoming World Cup qualifying games,” said Miller. “I look forward to coaching alongside Jeff and John as the team looks to continue its success and qualify for next year’s FIBA World Cup.”
Named the 2017-18 NBA G League Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year in a vote by G League head coaches and general managers, Miller guided the Knicks to a franchise-record 32 victories as Westchester finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference (32-18) and earned the Atlantic Division title for the first time in franchise history. Westchester won nine of its first 10 road games en route to an NBA G League-best 19-6 road record.
In his third season as the team’s head coach, Miller led Westchester to a 13-win improvement from 2016-17 (19-31).
Under Miller’s guidance, Westchester produced a team-record five GATORADE Call-Ups – Trey Burke to the New York Knicks, Nigel Hayes to the Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings and Xavier Rathan-Mayes to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Miller joined the Knicks in 2015 after spending the previous two seasons as an assistant coach with the Austin Spurs, the NBA G League affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs.
He also spent 20 years as an NCAA coach, including head coaching stops at Eastern Illinois University and Texas State University.
Thompson, who was a USA assistant for USA World Cup Qualifying teams that competed in November, February and June and compiled a 5-1 record, brings to USA Basketball 17 years of collegiate head coaching experience and a stellar 346-193 (.641 winning percentage) all-time record.
“It’s a privilege to represent our country with USA Basketball. I am truly honored and excited to once again assist coach Van Gundy with the World Cup Qualifying Team,” said Thompson.
Taking the coaching reigns at Georgetown in 2004, he directed the Hoyas for the next 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.
In 2006-07, Thompson guided the Hoyas to a 30-7 record, the Big East Conference regular season and tournament championships and the NCAA Final Four.
Thompson is also 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
Following the completion of the first round, the top three finishing teams in each of the four, first-round groups advanced to the second round. The three advancing teams from Group A, Argentina (5-1), Uruguay (4-2) and Panama (3-3), and the top three finishers from Group C, USA, Puerto Rico (4-2) and Mexico (3-3), form Group E. The top three finishers from Group B, Venezuela (5-1), Brazil (5-1) and Chile (1-5), and Group D, Canada (5-1), Dominican Republic (4-2) and U.S. Virgin Islands (2-4), form Group F. The three second-round windows of competition will take place Sept. 13-17, 2018; Nov. 29-Dec. 3, 2018; and Feb. 21-25, 2019.
Following completion of the Americas second-round games, seven teams will qualify out of the zone for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, including the top three finishing teams from Group E and Group F, and the best fourth placed team between Group E and Group F.
Under FIBA’s new competition system, a total of 80 national teams from FIBA’s four regions of Africa, Americas, Asia (which now includes Oceania) and Europe initially competed in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifying first round looking to earn a qualifying berth into the 32-team 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup competition that will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China.
The FIBA World Cup Qualifying games are being used to qualify 31 of the 32 nations that will compete in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. China automatically qualified as the host nation of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Five teams will qualify from Africa, seven teams from the Americas, seven teams from Asia and 12 teams from Europe.
The current two-time defending World Cup champion USA men have participated in 17 FIBA World Cups and have collected 12 medals - five gold medals (1954, 1986, 1994, 2010 and 2014), three silver medals (1950, 1959 and 1982) and four bronze medals (1974, 1990, 1998 and 2006). USA teams own an overall record of 123-27.
Results from the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 will qualify seven teams for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Additionally, Olympic host, Japan, automatically qualified, and the final four nations will qualify through four FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments that will be held in 2020 in advance of the Olympics.