2019 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team Coaches Announced
Selecting an experienced trio of collegiate and high school coaches, USA Basketball today announced Mark Campbell (Union University, Tenn.) has been selected as head coach of the 2019 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team, with USA assistant coaches Kelly Carruthers (James Bowie H.S., Texas) and Ruth Sinn (University of St. Thomas, Minn.). This is Campbell and Sinn’s first coaching stint with USA Basketball, while Carruthers previously served as a court coach for the 2015 USA Women’s U16 National Team trials.
Chaired by USA Basketball Women’s National Team director Carol Callan, the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee is responsible for selecting the U.S. coaching staff, which is approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
“This trio of coaches has compiled impressive records of success at their schools, and our committee is delighted to have them take the reins of the U16 national team program,” Callan said. “Proven winners, teachers and eager representatives of our country, this staff is the right group of coaches to go to Chile to compete in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship and earn a spot in next year’s FIBA U17 World Cup.”
Trials to select the 12-member USA U16 National Team will be held May 23-27 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Following the trials, team finalists will remain for training camp through May 31, when the official 12-member roster is expected to be announced. Training camp will be held June 5-15, with the 2019 U16 FIBA Americas Championship competition running June 16-22 in Puerto Aysen, Chile.
Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens born on or after Jan. 1, 2003.
Campbell recently completed his 20th season (1999-00 to present) as Union University head coach after serving as the men’s graduate assistant during the 1993-94 season and the men’s assistant coach from 1996-97 to 1998-99. He has compiled an overall record of 613-94 (.867 winning percentage) in his time as head coach.
“No question, it’s a big surprise for me and a big honor,” Campbell said. “I’m honored to represent our country and to be able to do something I’ve never done before. I love teaching, I love making an impact in young people’s lives and I can’t think of a better place to do it on a national scale than to do it through USA Basketball.”
Under Campbell, the Bulldogs have finished third or better in national tournaments 12 times, including 10 straight from 2005-14. He has guided Union to first place finishes in the NAIA in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010, including a National Christian College Athletic Association title in 2014. He also has second-place finishes in the 2011 and 2012 NAIA, third-place finishes at the 2002, 2007 and 2008 NAIA, 2013 NCCAA National Tournament and 2018 NCAA DII National Tournament.
In 2018-19, the Bulldogs finished 27-4 overall and 18-2 in the Gulf South Conference, advancing to the NCAA DII region quarterfinals as a No. 2 seed. It was the fifth GSC regular season title for Union, and its fourth trip to the NCAA DII National Tournament.
“One of the great things about USA Basketball is that you get to work with other coaches, bring new ideas and all be on the same page with a similar mission,” Campbell said. “I’m looking forward to working with a group of talented people.”
Carruthers, the seven-time District 4-6A Coach of the Year, recently completed her eighth season (2011-12 to present) as head coach for James Bowie High School in Texas and has compiled a 228-53 overall record (.811).
For the past seven consecutive seasons, the Lady Vols have earned the District 4-6A championship and advanced to the area playoffs and as far as the regional tournament in previous years. In Carruthers eight seasons as head coach, 98% of her players have received a basketball scholarship to play at the collegiate level.
“I am extremely blessed to represent the USA through basketball,” Carruthers said. “Being named a USA coach is a dream come true. I feel extremely honored to be selected to assist with amazing coaches and the best players in the USA.”
In 2018-19, Carruthers led Bowie to a 23-10 overall record, and they advanced to the second round of the area playoffs.
Sinn recently completed her 14th season (2005-06 to present) and has compiled an overall record of 329-81 (.802) as head coach at University of St. Thomas. Over the last eight seasons, Sinn has led St. Thomas to three NCAA DIII Final Fours and four other Sweet 16s. Sinn has been named Region Coach of the Year twice and MIAC Coach of the Year four times.
In 2018-19, the Tommies finished 30-2 and went undefeated with an 18-0 slate in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA DIII Tournament.
“I’m very honored and humbled,” Sinn said. “This is a fantastic opportunity to work with the best of the best especially in this great game of basketball. The coaches and the players are the best from all across the country, so I’m very excited to learn, collaborate and represent our country on an international stage.”
Sinn was inducted into the Minnesota State Girls Basketball Coaches' Association Hall of Fame in 2002 and has served on the Minnesota Ms. Basketball Committee since 1988. She has 15 former players now involved in teaching and/or coaching at various levels.
Sinn previously spent 16 seasons as a head coach at Apple Valley High School in Minnesota. Her Apple Valley teams played in three state tournaments, won eight section championships and compiled a 290-170 (.630) record under her direction.
“In the coaching profession we always learn from other people, and I can’t wait to extend this network and start learning from other people and hopefully I can help people along the way as well,” Sinn added.
The USA Developmental National Team Committee, in addition to Callan, includes four-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Cup gold medalist Tamika Catchings and two-time Olympic and two-time World Cup gold medalist DeLisha Milton-Jones as the athlete representatives; Kevin Lynch as the AAU representative; collegiate coaches Kirsten Moore (Westmont College) and Mia Smith (Illinois Wesleyan) as the at-large representatives; and Jill Schneider (Monterey H.S., Texas) as the NFHS representative.
FIBA Americas U16 Championship
The FIBA Americas U16 Championship features eight U16 national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. The 2019 FIBA Americas U16 Championship serves as the qualifying tournament for the 2020 FIBA U17 World Cup, and the top four finishing teams earn a berth to the 2020 U17 World Cup.
The eight nations qualified to compete in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship are: Canada and the United States as the North American entries; Chile (gold medalist), Ecuador (silver medalist) and Brazil (bronze medalist) qualified through the 2018 South American U15 Championship; while Puerto Rico (gold medalist), Cuba (silver medalist) and Mexico (bronze medalist) earned the final three berths from the 2018 Centrobasket U15 Championship.
Since FIBA Americas initiated the U16 Championship in 2009, USA teams have compiled a 24-1 record and won gold in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2017. USA U16 National Team players of note include: Aliyah Boston (2017), Samantha Brunelle (2017), Lauren Cox (2013), Kaela Davis (2011), Asia Durr (2013), Andra Espinoza-Hunter (2015), Rebecca Greenwell (2011), Arike Ogunbowale (2013), Katie Lou Samuelson (2013), Breanna Stewart (2009) and Elizabeth Williams (2009).