Adia Barnes, Kara Lawson, Joni Taylor, Jeff Walz Tabbed as Court Coaches for USA Women’s National Team Spring Training Camp
Four experienced and successful collegiate head coaches, Adia Barnes (Arizona), Kara Lawson (Duke), Joni Taylor (Georgia) and Jeff Walz (Louisville), have been selected to serve as court coaches for the 2022 USA Basketball Women’s National Team Training camp from March 30-April 2 in Minneapolis.
The USA minicamp will be the second opportunity for 2021-24 USA National Team head coach Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx) to work with 2022 USA World Cup Team hopefuls ahead of the 2022 WNBA season. Should any of the coaches advance their teams to the NCAA Final Four, they will not participate in the minicamp.
“The committee and I had the chance to see and work with a great group of WNBA coaches in February and the upcoming training camp in Minneapolis will give us an opportunity to look at some of the nation’s top collegiate coaches,” said Reeve. “All four are talented and know the game very well. I’m looking forward to working with them as we bring together a different collection of 2022 USA World Cup Team hopefuls in Minneapolis.”
All four court coaches have prior USA Basketball coaching experience. In five-on-five events, Barnes, Taylor and Walz have combined for six gold medals, an international tournament title and a 41-0 overall international record with USA Basketball. Lawson’s coaching duties include seven gold medals in 3x3 basketball.
Barnes returns for her second stint with USA Basketball after serving as an assistant coach for the 2021 USA AmeriCup Team that captured the gold medal with a 6-0 slate.
“It’s such an honor to represent the United States as a USA Basketball coaching staff member and I sincerely thank the committee for selecting me as a court coach for the 2022 national team training camp,” said Barnes, who guided Arizona to the 2021 NCAA title game. “To be surrounded by the best basketball players in the world and absorb the basketball knowledge from those fellow coaches and players is a tremendous opportunity. As an assistant coach a year ago on the USA AmeriCup gold medal team, I experienced my first opportunity with coaching the USA in an international setting and the work was incredibly rewarding and I loved everything about it.”
Lawson, a gold medalist on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, led the inaugural U.S. Olympic 3x3 Women's Basketball Team to an 8-1 record and gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games, and has helped coach USA Basketball teams to seven 3x3 gold medals since 2017. The 2021 USA Basketball 3x3 Coach of the Year, Lawson also served as the athlete representative on the 2017-2021 USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee.
“I’m honored to serve as a court coach for the USA National Team training camp,” said Lawson, who began her USA Basketball career as an athlete in 1998. “From the moment I first put on a USA jersey at 17 until now, the excitement and pride I feel representing our country has not changed. I’m grateful for every opportunity the federation has given me as a player, committee member, 3x3 coach and now five-on-five coach. I look forward to working with Cheryl in this capacity and helping the players improve during our time together.”
Taylor served as an assistant coach for the gold medalist 2021 USA U19 World Cup Team that finished with a 7-0 record and was a court coach for the 2018 USA U18 National Team trials.
“I am thrilled and honored to serve as a court coach for the USA Basketball National Team training camp,” said Taylor, the 2021 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year finalist. “Whether it was helping the U19 team win gold last year as an assistant or serving as a court coach in 2018, some of my greatest professional memories have come during my time with USA Basketball. I look forward to learning from coach Reeve and assisting her and these great players in any way that I can.”
Walz, as a USA Basketball head coach, guided the 2019 U19 and 2018 U18 teams to gold and was an assistant coach for the 2015 U19 and 2014 U18 gold medal winning teams. He also served as a head coach for the 2017 USA Women's U23 National Team that captured the U24 Four Nations Tournament in Japan before working as a court coach at the 2017 USA National Team’s October minicamp.
“Obviously, I’m hoping that I’m not able to do this, but if that’s not the case, it’s an honor to have been invited to come out and be able to work with the best women’s basketball players in the world,” said Walz, a co-recipient of the 2019 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award. “I’ve had some wonderful opportunities with USA Basketball, including five years ago when I was in the same position with the 2017 USA National Team. Anytime you get the opportunity to be around great minds in the game of basketball, there are always opportunities to improve and get better, and I’m really looking forward to this.”
The minicamp coaching staff was selected by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
The USA Basketball Women’s National Team Committee is chaired by Connecticut Sun president and 2018-21 USA National Team assistant coach Jennifer Rizzotti and includes Olympic and World Cup gold medalists Seimone Augustus and DeLisha Milton-Jones, 2017-21 USA National Team head coach Dawn Staley and WNBA head of league operations Bethany Donaphin.
Athletes attending training camp will be announced at a later date.