Jim Boylen Returns as Head Coach of USA Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team
Ty Ellis and Othella Harrington Return as Assistant Coaches for February 2022 World Cup Qualifying Team Games in Washington, D.C.
Veteran NBA coach Jim Boylen, who led the USA in the FIBA World Cup Qualifying November 2021 window, will return as head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team for the February 2022 qualifying games. Also returning to assist on the bench will be experienced USA Basketball coaches Ty Ellis and Othella Harrington.
The USA will open training camp Feb. 18 in Washington, D.C., and will participate in the second competition window of the 2021-23 FIBA World Cup Qualifying games that will see the USA face Puerto Rico (1-1) on Feb. 24 and Mexico (2-0) on Feb. 27. Both games will be played at the Entertainment and Sports Arena, home to the Washington Mystics of the WNBA and the Capital City Go-Go of the NBA G League.
Tickets for both USA men’s World Cup Qualifying games are now on sale and range from $10 (plus Ticketmaster fees) to $100 (plus Ticketmaster fees) for courtside seating. For ticket information, visit Ticketmaster or USAB.com/tickets. The full 2021-23 FIBA World Cup Qualifying schedule is available at https://www.usab.com/mens/wc-qualifying/schedule.aspx.
Players selected to represent the USA in the FIBA World Cup Qualifying games are expected to primarily be from the NBA G League.
“I’m excited we kept our coaching staff together and I’m thankful we were able to learn and grow together. I’m really looking forward to coaching this new group of players,” said Boylen. “There’s a learning curve to coaching and playing FIBA basketball, and the respect and experience I gained for international basketball by coaching the USA team last November is invaluable.”
This will be Boylen’s second experience with USA Basketball. In November 2021 he led the USA World Cup Qualifying Team to a 95-90 win over Cuba and a 97-88 loss to Mexico. Both games were played in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Beginning his coaching career as an assistant coach for Jud Heathcote at Michigan State University from 1987-92, he moved to the NBA and served for 11 seasons (1992-2003) as an assistant for Rudy Tomjanovich and the Houston Rockets. While in Houston, he aided the Rockets in collecting two NBA Championships.
Boylen moved on in 2003 and was an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors (2003-04) and the Milwaukee Bucks (2004-05), then returned to Michigan State as an assistant with Tom Izzo's Spartans. In two seasons at Michigan State (2005-06 to 2006-07), he helped the program to a 45–23 record and two NCAA Tournament appearances.
His first head coaching experience came in 2007 when he was named head mentor at the University of Utah. In four seasons at Utah (2007-11), he led the Utes to a Mountain West Conference championship and two postseason appearances.
Boylen served as an assistant coach with the NBA Indiana Pacers (2011-13) and was an assistant for two seasons on Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurts staff (2013-15), where he earned his third NBA Championship in 2014. He served as associate head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 2015-18, and on Dec. 3, 2018, the Bulls promoted him to head coach, a position he held through the 2019-20 season. Most recently, he served as the 2021 NBA Draft Combine Director.
He attended the University of Maine, and as a member of the Black Bears basketball team, was named All-North Atlantic Conference first team and finished runner-up for conference player of the year.
This assignment will be Ellis’ third with USA Basketball. He served as an assistant coach for the November 2021 USA World Cup Qualifying Team and was an assistant for USA head coach Jeff Van Gundy with the 2017 USA AmeriCup Team where he helped the USA compile a 5-0 record to claim the 2017 FIBA Americas Championship.
Ellis served as the Camp Director for the NBA G League Elite Camp in 2019 and 2021, an annual NBA event held in Chicago to showcase the talent of potential draft picks. He served as head coach of the G League Stockton Kings for two seasons (2018-20). Fresh from the team relocating from Reno, under Ellis, Stockton in 2018-19 finished with an overall 30-20 record, placed second in the Pacific Division, and qualified for the playoffs. In his second season (2019-20) with the Kings, the team owned a 24-19 overall record and was in first place in the Pacific Division when the season was cancelled on March 12 amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Dallas native served as an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns for one season (2017-18), and he was among four D-League coaches involved in the 2017 NBA Draft Combine, where he helped lead the prospects, along with NBA coaches, during scrimmages and drills.
Ellis’ coaching career also includes one season (2016-17) as head coach for the NBA G League Northern Arizona Suns, and assistant coaching stints with the Bakersfield Jam (2015-16), Grand Rapids Drive (2014-15), Reno Bighorns (2013-14) and Tulsa 66ers (2012-13).
Playing four seasons collegiately at NAIA Southern Nazarene University, Ellis played one year for the NBA D-League Huntsville Flight and 10 years in the top levels in Europe (Germany, Turkey, Italy and Spain).
Ellis and his wife co-founded the Ellis Performance Group, a performance consulting company specializing in Growth Mindset, Leadership, and Empowerment.
Harrington returns to the USA bench after serving as an assistant coach for November 2021 USA World Cup Qualifying Team, as an assistant coach during all three of the 2020-21 FIBA AmeriCup Qualifying windows and helping the U.S. to a 6-0 record and a qualifying berth in the 2022 FIBA AmeriCup.
Harrington also served as the team scout for Van Gundy and the USA World Cup Qualifying teams during their November/December 2018 and February 2019 competition windows, and he helped the USA compile a 3-1 record during his two stints, as well as earn a qualifying berth into the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
He also served four seasons (2011-15) as Georgetown University’s director of basketball operations.
Harrington was a four-year starter for Georgetown and was selected 30th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets. He played 12 seasons in the NBA with the Rockets, Vancouver Grizzlies, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Bobcats. He played in 709 regular season games and compiled 5,212 points (7.4 ppg.) and 3,130 rebounds (4.4 rpg.).
The power forward was a member of three USA Basketball teams, winning gold at the 1995 World University Games and 1993 FIBA U21 World Championship, while claiming a silver medal at the 1993 FIBA Americas U20 Championship.
2021-23 FIBA World Cup Qualifying
Featuring 16 national teams from North America, Central America, South American and the Caribbean, the 2021-23 FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament for the Americas zone features four preliminary round groups, and each group consists of four teams. The top three teams from each group will qualify for the second round. Following the second round, the three best finishing teams from each group, and the top fourth-placed team, will qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
The USA was drawn into Group D, and is joined by Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Group A consists of Argentina, Panama, Paraguay and Venezuela; Group B is made up of Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay; and Group C consists of Bahamas, Canada, Dominican Republic and U.S. Virgin Islands.
A total of 80 national teams from FIBA’s four regions will compete in the FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers over 15 months, looking to earn a qualifying berth into the 32-team FIBA World Cup competition that will be held Aug. 25-Sept. 10, 2023, in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup marks the first time multiple countries will host the event.
Under the FIBA World Cup qualifying format, two games per window will be played and a total of six windows will be held to qualify teams for the 2023 World Cup. Each competition window is nine days. The first-round competition windows dates were: Nov, 22-30, 2021; Feb. 21-March 1, 2022; and June 27-July 5, 2022; while the second-round dates are set for Aug. 22-30, 2022; Nov. 7-15, 2022; and Feb. 20-28, 2023.
Each FIBA zone will qualify a set number of teams for the 2023 World Cup. Japan and the Philippines automatically will qualify for the 2023 World Cup as host countries, and Indonesia automatically will qualify as a host if it is among the best eight teams out of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Additionally, the top five finishing teams in Africa; the top seven placing teams in the Americas; the top five or six finishing teams in the Asia/Oceania zone, depending on Indonesia’s results at the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup; and the top 12 finishing teams from Europe will qualify for the 2023 World Cup.
At the 2017-19 Americas World Cup Qualifying, the USA finished atop of the second round Group E, compiling a 10-2 overall record to qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.