Jerry Colangelo Discusses USA Basketball (Part 5)
December 6, 2012
USABasketball.com sat down with recently re-elected USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo for a five-part interview covering a wide variety of topics.
In Part 5 he discusses USA Basketball's incredible Hoops for Troops program and tries to summarize his experience with USA Basketball and the USA Basketball Men's National Team.
Colangelo, 2009-12 USA Basketball chairman and managing director of USA Basketball’s 2006-08 and 2009-12 men’s national teams, was re-elected on Nov. 13 as chairman of USA Basketball’s Board of Directors for the 2013-16 term.
Named in 2005 managing director of the USA Basketball Men's National Team program that had not won a major international competition since 2000, Colangelo confidently rebuilt the program from the bottom up. Obtaining the involvement of the NBA’s top players, and securing the involvement of some of basketball’s most respected coaches, Colangelo’s first step in his rebuilding process was selecting Duke University’s Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski as the USA National Team head coach.
Since he took charge of the national team, the USA men have compiled a remarkable 62-1 win-loss record and have claimed gold medal finishes at the 2012 London Olympics, 2010 FIBA World Championship, 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2007 FIBA Americas Championship.
During Colangelo's first term (2009-12) as USA Basketball chairman, USA Basketball men's and women's teams compiled an impressive 166-8 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the World University Games and the Nike Hoop Summit. USA teams are the current men's and women's champions in the Olympics, men's and women's FIBA World Championships; women’s FIBA U19 World Championship; men's and women's FIBA U17 World Championships; and the men's and women's U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships.
Additionally, USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.
USA Basketball Hoops for Troops program, which is our global program that supports USA military members and their families, continues to be a positive experience for both the troops and our players and coaches. How important is it to you and USA Basketball to continue to grow the Hoops for Troops program?
First and foremost, USA Basketball represents the United States. When you have a chance to integrate with those who defend our country, the military around the globe, it fits just like bread and butter.
It's a wonderful opportunity for us to express our thanks and appreciation to the troops. And vice versa, the troops have something to look forward to to associate with our players, be able to participate, go to games, clinics, and do the things that we do, that gives them hope.
That gives them an affiliation and a connection, especially when we're traveling around the globe and we're at bases where we have an opportunity to make that connection and these individuals who are protecting us are a long way from home.
What one word would you use to summarize your experience with USA Basketball?
Oh, jeez. That's a tough one because I think of different words.
You know, people ask me quite often, What was your greatest accomplishment? What stands out in your mind regarding your career, et cetera?
I've been blessed: A Hall of Fame induction, a World Series title in baseball; gold medals with USA Basketball.
I've said that far by what stands out most for me with all of the things that have happened in my life where I've been blessed, is the fact that in representing our country we've had a chance and an opportunity to change a culture. We've done that.
And so in summing up my experience with USA Basketball in the years that I've been involved, it's been fun, it's been an opportunity for me to use all of my experiences during my career.
But a couple words to describe how I really feel would be I've been totally satisfied and fulfilled with my experience and association with USAB.