2019 USA Women's U16 National Team Trials Court Coaches Announced
Trials for the 2019 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team will feature four court coaches on hand to help the USA U16 Coaching Staff including G.P. Gromacki (Amherst College), Hilda Hankerson (Westlake H.S., Ga.), Andrea Robinson (DeSoto H.S., Texas) and Adrienne Shibles (Bowdoin College). The 2019 USA Basketball U16 National Team trials, which are expected to feature approximately 150 athletes, will take place May 23-27 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
This is the first USA Basketball coaching assignment for all four court coaches, who were selected by the USA Basketball Developmental National Team Committee, which is chaired by USA Basketball Women’s National Team director Carol Callan.
“These court coaches bring a wealth of knowledge, demonstrated success in their programs and the ability to teach young athletes to thrive in competitive situations,” Callan said. “We are thrilled to have each of them working with these talented athletes to provide them with skills and thoughts to develop their game.”
Gromacki recently completed his 12th season with Amherst College (2007-08 to present), where he holds an overall record of 353-28 (.926 winning percentage).
He previously spent one season at Hamilton College (2006-07) and six seasons at Saint Lawrence University (1998-99 to 2003-04). In his 19 seasons of coaching, Gromacki holds an overall record of 516-66 (.886).
“I’m truly honored to be a part of something as big as USA Basketball,” Gromacki said. “I’m going to give everything I have to try to help as much as I can. I was amazed to get the call, to be a part of it is unreal.”
In 2018-19, the Mammoths finished 25-4 and advanced to the NCAA DIII Sweet 16. Amherst has not lost more than four games in a season in each of the last 12 years and has reached the Sweet 16 every season.
Gromacki has led Amherst to three national championships (2011, 2017 and 2018) including back-to-back perfect seasons in 2017 and 2018, when the program went 33-0 in each season. In 2017-18, the Mammoths set the NCAA record for defensive scoring, allowing just 38.8 points per game.
Gromacki is a two-time WBCA National Coach of the Year (2010 and 2017), five-time d3hoops.com New England Coach of the Year, six-time New England Small College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and eight-time NESCAC champion. Additionally, he coached NCAA DIII Players of the Year in 2011, 2012 and 2017.
“The staff is tremendous,” Gromacki added. “We’re going to work together to make this a great experience for all the athletes involved and help the U16 coaches as much as we can.”
Hankerson recently completed her 24th season as head coach at Westlake H.S. (1995-96 to present) and recorded her 600th win in 2019. Hankerson has led Westlake to four final fours, five elite eights, four sweet 16s, eight state play-offs and nine regional championships.
“I feel honored that I was chosen to be one of the court coaches for the USA team,” Hankerson said. “My father served 20 years in the United States Air Force. I know what I am doing can’t compare to his duty for our country, but I feel like what I am doing is going to have an impact on how our country is represented to the world.”
In 2018-19, Westlake was ranked No. 1 in the state of Georgia for the second year in a row and finished 30-0, winning a second consecutive 7A state championship. In 2018, they also participated in the Geico Nationals and were ranked top 10 in the nation by Max Preps. For her efforts, Hankerson was named 2018 NFHS Coach of the Year.
Robinson recently completed her second year as head coach at DeSoto High School (2017-18 to present), and she has an overall record of 438-89 (.831) as a head coach. Robinson previously served as a coach at Fort Worth Dunbar High School (2002-03 to 2007-08), where she led them to a 4A state championship in 2004-05 and 2006-07. She also coached at Cedar Hill High School from 2008-09 to 2012-13 and led them to a 5A state semifinal finish in 2010.
In 2018-19, the Lady Eagles finished 26-7 and advanced to the second round of playoffs.
“Being selected to be a part of USA Basketball is a highlight in my career,” Robinson said. “I consider this opportunity as an honor and privilege.”
Shibles, the winningest coach in Bowdoin women’s basketball history, recently completed her 11th season as the head coach (2008-09 to present), and she has an overall record of 253-64 (.798).
“It’s truly an honor to have the opportunity to serve as a court coach for USA Basketball, an organization that has done so much to promote and grow our game,” Shibles said. “I am eager to work with the best talent in the nation, and grateful for the chance to collaborate with this amazing staff.”
In 2018-19, the Polar Bears finished 31-2, were undefeated in conference (10-0) and were the NCAA DIII Tournament Championship runner-up. This season marked the second perfect regular season in school history and second consecutive final four appearance for the Polar Bears.
For her efforts, Shibles was named the United States Marine Corps/WBCA NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year and the 2018-19 New England Small College Athletic Conference, D3hoops.com Northeast Region and New England Women’s Basketball Association Coach of the Year.
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.