USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team Staff Announced for November Games
Mark Fox and John Thompson III Named Assistants for November 2018 USA World Cup Qualifying Team
Former University of Georgia head coach Mark Fox and former Georgetown University head coach John Thompson III have been named assistant coaches for the USA’s World Cup Qualifying Games that will be held Nov. 23-Dec. 2. Fox and Thompson will assist former NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy, who was announced on July 5, 2017, 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 continue second-round action of FIBA World Cup Qualifying play with a pair of challenging road games, Nov. 29 versus Argentina (7-1) in La Rioja, Argentina, and Dec. 2 versus Uruguay in Montevideo, Uruguay (the full Americas World Cup Qualifying schedule/results is available at https://www.usab.com/mens/wc-qualifying/schedule.aspx).
The USA is scheduled to train Nov. 23-25 at the Houston Rockets’ practice facility. The November 2018 USA World Cup Qualifying team is again expected to be comprised of NBA G League players, with the possibility of again using players who have been playing overseas.
“I think it is excellent news to have both John and Mark back assisting with the team as we prepare for what will be two very challenging road games during this second round window,” said Van Gundy, who has now compiled a 12-1 record as head coach of USA Basketball teams since August 2017. “Both John and Mark possess outstanding coaching experience, and their basketball knowledge and advice are invaluable. John has been part of our coaching staff since the first qualifying window, and Mark assisted our teams during the last two windows and having both of them back for these two games helps us with continuity, which is critically important because of the short amount of preparation time we will have with the team.”
With seven 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifying berths going to the top three finishing teams in each of the Americas second round groups and to the best fourth place team, Argentina (7-1) and the USA (7-1), after recording a pair of wins in September, are on top of the second-round Group E standings, followed by Puerto Rico (5-3) and Uruguay (5-3), with Mexico (3-5) and Panama (3-5) in fifth place. Group F standings see Canada (7-1) and Venezuela (7-1) tied for first, followed by Brazil (6-2), Dominican Republic (5-3), U.S. Virgin Islands (2-6) and Chile (1-7).
“USA Basketball has become a collective effort to maintain our country’s position in the sport,” Fox said. “I have enjoyed helping coach Van Gundy. His partnership with coach Popovich has been terrific to witness, and it only adds to the respect I have for both. I am honored to assist and look forward to helping however I can.”
Fox returns to the USA World Cup Qualifying Team after serving as the team’s scout for the June/July 2018 and September 2018 World Cup Qualifying competition windows. The team compiled a 3-1 record during those qualifying games.
Boasting of 14 seasons of NCAA Division I head coaching experience and 12 years of assistant coaching experience, Fox compiled a 286–176 (.619) record as a head mentor while advancing teams to 10 post season tournaments, including five NCAA Tournaments.
In nine seasons (2008-09 – 2017-18) as the University of Georgia’s head mentor, Fox led the Bulldogs to an overall record of 163-133, produced four 20-win campaigns, two NCAA tournament appearances (2011 and 2015) and three NIT post-season tournaments (2014, 2016 and 2017).
Fox also was head coach at the University of Nevada for five seasons (2004-05 to 2008-09). While with the Wolf Pack, he compiled an overall record of 123–43 and a .741 winning percentage. He guided Nevada to at least 21 wins each season, to five postseason appearances in five years, including three NCAA tournaments, and led the Wolf Pack to Western Athletic Conference(WAC) regular season championships four times (2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008). He was named the WAC Don Haskins Coach of the Year three times (2005, 2006 and 2007).
Fox began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach and then as a full-time assistant at the University of Washington (1991-1993). He spent six seasons (1994-2000) as an assistant coach at Kansas State and was associate head coach at the University of Nevada for four years (2000-2004).
Heplayed two seasons of college basketball at Garden City Community College (1987-89) and played two seasons at Eastern New Mexico University (1989-91), where he was named first-team Academic All-Lone Star Conference in 1991.
“Even after having had the privilege to work under coach Van Gundy with the first four USA World Cup Qualifying teams, it remains an honor and an incredible experience to again return and to try and help USA Basketball earn a World Cup qualifying berth,” said Thompson, son of 1988 U.S. Olympic Team and longtime Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr. “I’m honored beyond words to work for coach Van Gundy and to again represent our country.”
Thompson, who was an assistant coach with the 2008 USA Basketball U18 National Team that won a silver medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, has assisted Van Gundy with every USA World Cup Qualifying Team, helping the USA to its current 7-1 record.
Thompson possesses 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 the next 13 seasons and compiled a 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, Big East regular season and tournament championships and the NCAA Final Four.
Thompson also is a two-time winner of the Black Coaches Association Male Coach of the Year Award, was named the 2007 National Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year and was the 2013 Big East Conference Coach of the Year.
Serving four seasons (2000-01 to 2003-04) as head coach at his alma mater, Princeton University, his teams compiled a 68-42 overall record and 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 to 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.
FIBA World Cup Qualifying
from FIBA’s four regions of Africa, Americas, Asia 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. Under FIBA’s new competition system, a total of 80 national teams
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.