Sharman White Named USA Basketball’s Junior National Team Coach of the Year
Shawn Smith, Red Line Editorial
Dec 2, 2022
After guiding the USA Basketball Men's U17 National Team to a perfect record and another FIBA World Cup title, SharmanWhite has been recognized as USA Basketball’s Junior National Team Coach of the Year for 2022.
White is a veteran of the USA Basketball system, having worked with the organization since 2014. After leading the men’s U16 squad to a seventh straight gold medal last year at the FIBA Americas Championship, he was named head coach of the Men’s U17 National Team in March ahead of the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup.
The appointment meant that White had big shoes to fill, as he was taking over for the man who led the U.S. to the first five titles in the competition’s history: DonShowalter. But White seamlessly carried on the team’s streak of excellence.
Throughout the year, White was part of three separate minicamps for U17 players, including a pivotal one in June that decided the 12-man roster for the World Cup from among 34 players invited.
At the U17 World Cup earlier this year in Malaga, Spain, White’s team was dominant on both sides of the ball. The Americans won their three group-stage games by a combined score of 320-163, nearly doubling up their opponents, then took down Egypt with a 103-48 win in the round of 16.
The competition tightened up a bit as the U.S. dispatched Serbia in the quarterfinals and Lithuania in the semifinals en route to a showdown with Spain in the final. Buoyed by the support of the home crowd, Spain held a 47-40 lead midway through the third quarter before the U.S. clamped down on defense.
The U.S. ultimately won the game 79-67 to secure its sixth gold medal in six tries since the event’s inception in 2010.
With a 7-0 record at this year’s tournament, the U.S. remains unbeaten (44-0) all-time in men’s U17 World Cup competitions.
Among the promising young stars that thrived under White’s tutelage was Cooper Flagg. The 15-year-old forward played a huge role in the win over Spain, highlighted by his 17 rebounds, a single-game record for the U.S. U17 team. Flagg was also named to the tournament’s All-Star Five alongside another 15-year-old American, Koa Peat, who became USA Basketball’s youngest player ever in a U17 World Cup.
“Sharman is well deserving of this honor, having led his team to a perfect record, including topping the host country Spain in the title game and having two players named to the All-Star Five,” USA Basketball CEO JimTooley said. “Sharman’s involvement at our minicamps this year is a testament to his dedication to USA Basketball and its players and programs.”
Outside of USA Basketball, White also continues to serve as the boys’ head basketball coach at Pace Academy in Atlanta. Before that, he was the head coach at Miller Grove High School in Lithonia, Georgia, combining for 24 years coaching high school basketball. White also spent two years as an assistant coach at Georgia State University, helping the Panthers reach the NCAA Tournament in 2018 with a 24-11 record.
During White’s career as a high school head coach, he’s compiled a 474-111 record (through the 2021-22 season) and won eight state titles between the two schools. White also received national recognition as the 2014 USA Today All-USA Coach of the Year and 2016 National High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year.
This year’s honor is White’s first award with USA Basketball. It’s also the first of several end-of-season awards that USA Basketball will be announcing throughout this month.
ShawnSmith is a freelance contributor to usab.com.
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