Kansas State’s Bruce Weber to Lead 2019 USA U19 World Cup Team
A trio of head coaches with 55 total seasons of NCAA Division I coaching experience will lead the 2019 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team, including USA head coach Bruce Weber (Kansas State) and assistant coaches Mike Hopkins (Washington) and LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central).
The USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Purdue University head coach Matt Painter, is responsible for selecting the U.S. coaching staff, which is approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
“Bruce Weber, Mike Hopkins and LeVelle Moton have been very successful with each of their programs, and the three together will provide great leadership for the USA Men’s U19 World Cup Team,” Painter said. “With a combination of USA Basketball and NCAA Division I coaching experience, the committee believes these coaches will best represent USA Basketball and create the opportunity to win a gold medal.”
Training camp to select the 12-member team will be held June 15-18 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Finalists for the team are expected to be announced on June 18, and the roster will be announced prior to the team’s departure for Greece on June 24. The FIBA U19 World Cup will take place June 29-July 7 in Heraklion, Greece. Athletes eligible for this team must be 19 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 2000) and U.S. citizens.
This will be Weber’s first head coaching assignment with USA Basketball after previously serving as an assistant coach, 2009-12 Men’s Junior National Team committee member and court coach. Weber recently completed his seventh season at Kansas State (2012-13 to present), where he has compiled a 150-89 record (.628 winning percentage). In his 21 seasons as a head coach, he owns a 463-244 overall record (.655).
“It’s an honor to represent Team USA at such a prestigious event like the FIBA U19 World Cup,” said Weber. “I have had a long association with USA Basketball as a committee member, court coach and as an assistant to Coach (Gene) Keady for several championships and appreciate the organization’s Board of Directors for giving me this special opportunity to coach some of our country’s best players on the world stage. I look forward to getting to work with the players and staff and representing our country.”
In 2018-19, Weber led the Wildcats to a 25-9 overall record and 14-4 Big 12 Conference record, which tied with his 2012-13 team for most conference wins in school history, and he led the Wildcats to their 21st conference championship. K-State advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time under Weber, and the third consecutive season. The Wildcats finished the season in at No. 18 in the final Associated Press poll and No. 19 in the final USA Today Coaches poll for the second straight year. Additionally, K-State finished as one of the top defensive teams in the country, allowing 59.6 points per game, which ranked fourth nationally.
Weber has guided the Wildcats to 20-win seasons and NCAA Tournament appearances five times during his tenure, including consecutive 25-win campaigns for the first time in school history in 2017-18 and 2018-19. He has led K-State to a pair of Big 12 regular season titles during his tenure, including the school’s first conference championship in 36 seasons in his debut season in 2012-13.
Prior to K-State, Weber was the head coach at University of Illinois (2003-2011) and Southern Illinois University (1998-2003).
His teams participated in postseason play 15 times, including 13 NCAA Tournament appearances. He has won 15 NCAA Tournament games, including trips to the Sweet 16 in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2018 and the Elite Eight in 2005 and 2018.
As an assistant coach to Gene Keady at Purdue University for 18 seasons (1980-81 to 1997-98), Weber was a court coach at trials for the 1991 USA Men’s Pan American Games Team, and he also spent time with the 1989 USA Men’s World University Games and 1985 R. Williams Jones Cup Teams that were led by Keady.
Hopkins will undertake his second official USA Basketball coaching assignment with the 2019 USA Men’s U19 World Cup Team. Previously, he was head coach of the 2012 USA Select Team that trained against the 2012 USA Men’s National Team, and he was a staff assistant for the USA Men’s National Team from 2008 to 2016, including at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games and the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Cup.
He recently completed his second season at the University of Washington (2017-18 to present) where he has compiled a 48-22 (.686) overall record.
“It’s an honor to be named one of the coaches for the USA U19 Team and have the opportunity to coach alongside Coach Weber and Coach Moton. There’s nothing greater than representing your country and having the chance to once again be involved is just going to be a great experience.”
In 2018-19, Washington finished 27-9 and 15-3 in the Pacific-12 Conference and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
In his first year as head coach in 2017-18, Hopkins led the Huskies to their first 20-win season since 2011-12 and he was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year and National Association of Basketball Coaches District 21 Coach of the Year.
Prior to Washington, Hopkins was an assistant coach under Jim Boeheim at Syracuse University for 22 seasons. At Syracuse, Hopkins was a part of 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, the 2003 National Championship, four Final Fours, five Elite Eights, 10 Sweet 16s, and four NIT berths. Additionally, Syracuse never dipped below a .550 record while Hopkins was on staff.
This will be Moton’s second USA Basketball coaching assignment after previously serving as a court coach for the 2015 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup training camp. He recently completed his 10th season at North Carolina Central (2011-12 to present), where he has compiled an overall record of 189-135 (.583).
“I’m truly humbled and honored to be chosen to represent my country on the highest stage. Words cannot put into context what this means. Since I was a kid, I’ve aspired to wear the letters USA across my chest and I’m grateful that Sean Ford and USA Basketball believed in me. It is truly, truly a blessing.”
In 2018-19, North Carolina Central finished 18-16 overall and 10-6 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, winning their third consecutive MEAC Tournament championship for the first time in school history and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season. For his efforts, Moton was named 2019 MEAC Tournament Most Outstanding Coach.
Prior to being named head coach, the NCCU Athletics Hall-of-Famer had a successful playing career at NCCU (1992-93 to 1995-96) and was the men’s basketball assistant coach for two seasons (2007-08 to 2008-09).
Moton graduated from NCCU as the Eagle’s third all-time leading scorer with 1,714 points and was named the 1996 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. Among NCCU's all-time career leaders, Moton ranks first in 3-point field goals made (213 of 529), fifth in free throws made (363 of 467), eighth in assists (278), eighth in field goals made (569 of 1,159), 12th in scoring average (16.6 points per game) and 15th in steals (110).
The USA Junior National Team Committee, in addition to Painter, includes Shane Battier as the athletic representative; and collegiate head coaches Tony Bennett (Virginia), Ed Cooley (Providence) and Sean Miller (Arizona) as NCAA representatives.