Davidson's Bob McKillop To Head 2008 USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team At FIBA Americas Championship
- Georgetown's John Thompson III And Virginia Commonwealth's Anthony Grant To Assist -
May 21, 2008 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
After leading Davidson College to a Cinderella storybook season, head coach Bob McKillop has been selected to head the 2008 USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team that will compete in the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship scheduled for July 14-18 in Formosa, Argentina. Virginia Commonwealth University?s Anthony Grant and Georgetown University's John Thompson III will serve as assistants. The coaching staff selections were made by the USA Basketball Men?s Collegiate Committee, chaired by USA Men?s Senior National Team assistant and Syracuse University head coach Jim Boeheim, and approved by USA Basketball?s Executive Committee.
'It is an honor to represent our country,' McKillop said. 'Any time you have the opportunity to put on the red, white and blue it is a special feeling. There is a sense of pride that comes with wearing the USA symbol. I am excited to wear it proudly and to be working with such talented and respected colleagues. It is sure to be an educational experience and a growing experience and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together for this USA team.'
The 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship will qualify the top four finishing teams for the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship that is slated to be held July 2-12 in New Zealand.
Trials for the USA U18 National Team will be held July 1-3 at the Verizon Center, home to the Washington Wizards, in Washington, D.C., with approximately 30 U.S. hopefuls, born on or after Jan 1, 1990, participating. Following the selection of finalists, the Americans will continue to train July 4-10 in Washington before departing for Argentina.
The FIBA Americas U18 Championship format divides eight teams into two preliminary round groups consisting of four teams each. Preliminary round play will be held July 14, 15 and 16, as each team will compete against the other three teams in its preliminary group. The top two finishing teams in each preliminary round group will then advance to the July 17 medal round semifinals and the gold medal will be contested
July 18. Teams placing third and fourth in each preliminary round group will advance to the consolation semifinals and play for 5th-8th places.
The USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee, in addition to chair Boeheim, consists of: NCAA appointees Fran Dunphy (head coach, Temple University); Tom Izzo (head coach, Michigan State University); Ernie Kent (head coach, University of Oregon) and Tubby Smith (head coach, University of Minnesota); NABC appointee Bill Self (head coach, University of Kansas); NAIA appointee Bob Burchard (head coach, Columbia College); NJCAA appointee Scott Schumacher (head coach, Kilgore Community College), and athlete representatives Steve Wojciechowski (1995 Junior World Championship team/assistant coach, Duke University); and A.J. Wynder (1995 Pan American Games team/head coach, Nassau Community College).
McKillop's 2008 USA Basketball coaching assignment is his second with USA Basketball. He previously served as an assistant coach for the 2003 Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament in Venezuela, helping the USA Men?s U18 National Team to a 4-1 mark and a bronze medal.
He undertakes his first USA head coaching assignment having earned national prominence after leading Davidson to a sensational 29-7 record and the 2008 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. Davidson?s NCAA run marked the first time the Wildcats had won an NCAA Tournament game and is the furthest advancement in the Tournament since 1969. Precluding the string of upsets in March, Davidson was undefeated in Southern Conference (SoCon) action for the third time during the McKillop era, claimed its third consecutive league title and led the nation with a 25-game winning streak in 2007-08. The Cinderella season marked Davidson?s 30th consecutive league win, and the Wildcat?s tied a school record with 29 victories on the year.
'My greatest strength is to teach players to understand that when individuals surrender their individual self for the sake of the whole, the team discovers the best it can become,' McKillop said. 'I think this philosophy is evident in what we were able to accomplish this past season at Davidson. Many of these players have come from leadership positions and roles. I hope to show these players how to take their role and talent and blend it with players of similar roles and equal talent and implement into this group that the team is the greatest aspect.'
McKillop has spent the past 19 seasons (1989-90 to present) as Davidson?s head coach and is 340-225 overall (.601 winning percentage) with the Wildcats.
In the past 13 seasons, McKillop has led Davidson to five NCAA Tournament appearances, three postseason NITs and seven 20-win seasons, while having finished either first or second in the SoCon. Among his many awards, McKillop has been recognized as the SoCon Coach of the Year seven times (1994, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2008) and was named the 2008 recipient of the Coach Clair Bee Award at this year?s Final Four and also recognized as the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coach of the Year.
Owning the longest tenure of any Davidson basketball coach, McKillop has stamped himself into Davidson lore as the program?s all-time winningest coach, and his 191 SoCon wins are more than any coach in league history. Arguably more impressive than his five SoCon Tournament titles (1998, 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2008) and nine SoCon regular season titles (1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008) is that 95 percent of his Davidson lettermen have graduated.
Before his arrival at Davidson, McKillop coached at Long Island Lutheran High School (N.Y.). During his 10-year tenure (1979-80 to 1988-89) at Long Island Lutheran, McKillop amassed a 182-51 record (.781 winning percentage).
In 1978, McKillop joined Davidson for the first time as assistant coach, a position that lasted for one season. Prior to his leap into the collegiate ranks, he began his coaching career at Holy Trinity High School in Long Island, where he posted an 86-25 record. Overall, as a high school coach, McKillop garnered five New York State Championships and coached five high school All-Americans, including Matt Doherty, former head coach at North Carolina, who is now at SMU.
As a collegiate athlete, McKillop earned a scholarship to East Carolina University, where he played one season before transferring to Hofstra University (N.Y.) to be closer to home. While in New York, he became the Pride's MVP before graduating in 1972 and later was inducted into the Hofstra Basketball Hall of Fame.
In just two seasons at Virginia Commonwealth (2006-07 and 2007-08), Grant has amassed an overall record of 52-15 (.776 winning percentage). Grant?s 2008 USA Basketball assistant coaching assignment marks his first USA Basketball coaching selection.
'It?s a great honor,' Grant said. 'Any time you have the chance to represent the United States and work with the caliber of people that are involved with USA Basketball - from the selection committee, to the coaches and the players - it's a joy for me and I feel blessed to have the opportunity.'
Grant arrived at VCU in 2006 as the Rams' ninth head coach in school history. Under his direction, the Rams have won back-to-back Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) regular season crowns while posting a 31-5 slate in CAA regular season games, more league victories than any CAA team in a two-year span. In 2007-08, his second season at the helm, Grant sparked his team to a 24-8 record, guiding the Rams to the first round of the NIT, their second consecutive postseason appearance.
In his inaugural season as head coach, he led the Rams to a 28-7 record, the CAA regular season and tournament championships and the NCAA Second Round. The 28 wins set a VCU record for most wins in a season. For his efforts, Grant was named 2007 CAA Coach of the Year.
Prior to VCU, Grant was the associate head coach at the University of Florida, culminating in the Gator?s first national title in 2006. Grant was an assistant coach under Billy Donovan for two seasons at Marshall University (1994-95 to 1995-96) prior to joining his staff at Florida. The decade-long venture ultimately led to back-to-back NCAA Tournament crowns.
While at Gainesville, Grant helped the Gators to the 2006 NCAA title, the 2005 and 2006 Southeastern Conference Tournament (SEC) titles, three SEC Eastern Division titles, a pair of SEC Championships in 2000 and 2001, as well as many program firsts. The 1999 and 2000 teams made the first repeat Sweet Sixteen appearances in school history, and the 2000 squad marked Florida?s debut in a national championship game. During Grant?s 10-year stint with the Gators, Florida earned eight-straight NCAA berths while compiling a sterling record of 226-98 (.698 winning percentage).
Prior to Florida, Grant spent two years at Marshall, helping the Thundering Herd to a 35-20 slate. Grant also served as an assistant for a single season at Stetson University, after wrapping up a six-year stint (1987-1993) as a prep coach in Miami, Fla. At the high school level, Grant assisted on teams that captured three state titles, five straight national rankings in USA Today and an overall record of 172-11.
Grant enjoyed a standout playing career at the University of Dayton (1983-87), where he was named the team's Most Valuable Player as a senior, averaging 11.6 ppg. and 6.7 rpg. in 105 contests. His legacy in a Flyer's uniform culminated in a 70-49 (.588) overall mark, a pair of NCAA Tournament berths and one NIT appearance.
John Thompson III
While this is Thompson's first USA Basketball coaching selection, his father, John Thompson Jr., served as a head coach of the U.S. Men?s Olympic Basketball Team in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, where he led the team to a 7-1 mark to claim the bronze medal; and previously was an assistant coach during the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal where he helped the USA capture the gold medal, posting an unblemished 7-0 record.
In four seasons at Georgetown University (2004-05 to present), Thompson III has accumulated an overall record of 100-36 (.735 winning percentage). Under his guidance, the Hoyas have reached three NCAA Tournaments (2005, 2006 and 2007) and one NIT (2004). Overall, Thompson has amassed records of 168-78 (.683) and four league championships in his eight years as a head coach.
'It's an extreme honor,' Thompson said. 'This is something that I've wanted to do since I got into coaching. To be part of the group that travels around the world and represents our country is pretty special. And to have the opportunity to work with Coach McKillop and Coach Grant, and to have the opportunity to exchange ideas and work with them is something that is very exciting.'
Arriving on the Hilltop in 2004, Thompson became the 17th head coach in program history, following in his father?s footsteps, who led the Hoyas for 27 seasons (1972-73 to 1998-99). Most recently, Thompson led his Hoyas to a 28-6 record (.823 winning percentage) in 2007-08, going 15-3 in Big East play to garner their second consecutive regular season championship (a feat previously unmatched in Hoya history). His team appeared in the national polls all 20 weeks of the season, never falling lower than a No. 12 ranking.
In his third season (2006-07) at the helm, Thompson engineered Georgetown's first return to the NCAA Final Four in 22 years. The long-awaited return to the NCAA?s most coveted contest topped off a stellar season in which Thompson led the Hoyas to their eighth Big East regular season championship, seventh Big East Tournament championship and fifth NCAA East Regional championship while compiling a 30-7 overall record and a sterling 13-3 slate in conference play. Georgetown?s seven defeats over nationally ranked opponents highlighted the 2006-07 campaign as Thompson saw his Hoyas reach the national polls 18 times. His 30-win season was the first since the 1984-85 team went 35-3 and only the fourth in school history.
In his inaugural campaign as the Hoya's head coach Thompson became one of only three coaches in Big East history to defeat a nationally ranked team in the conference opener. After piloting the Hoyas to 19 victories and the NIT quaterfinals in 2004-05, Thompson guided his team to the Sweet Sixteen the following year, marking his fifth trip to the postseason in six years as a head coach and Georgetown?s first regional semifinal since 2001. The Hoyas finished the 2005-06 season with a 23-10 overall mark.
His exploits at Georgetown have not gone unnoticed. In 2007 Thompson was recognized as the NABC Coach of the Year, and was a back-to-back recipient (2006 and 2007) of the Fritz Pollard Award as the Black Coaches Association (BCA) Male Coach of the Year. He was also a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award each of his first three seasons at Georgetown.
Prior to his appointment at Georgetown, Thompson led Princeton University to three Ivy League championships, two NCCA Tournament berths and an NIT appearance over his four-year stint as head coach (2000-01 to 2003-04), while accruing a 68-42 overall record (.618 winning percentage), and a 45-11 tally (.804 winning percentage) in Ivy League play.
Before assuming the head position, he served as an assistant coach at Princeton from 1995-2000 where he helped guide the team to a Top-10 national ranking and five consecutive postseason appearances.
Prior to joining the coaching ranks at Princeton, Thompson played for the Tigers under the renowned coach Pete Carril. In his stellar four-year career he compiled 358 assists (103 in his senior year alone) to rank third on Princeton?s all-time assist list. Before graduating from Princeton in 1988, Thompson served as co-captain his senior year and was recognized as co-winner of the B.F. Bunn Award as one of the Tigers? most valuable players.
2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship
Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifier, the tournament originally was held every four years between 1990-2006. FIBA changed its calendar, however, and the tournament will now be conducted every other year, followed in the next summer by the FIBA U19 World Championship.
USA men?s teams boast of a sensational 29-1 overall record in the U18/junior qualifiers and won gold in 1990, 1994, 1998, and most recently in 2006 when the United States played host to the U18 Championship For Men for the first time in San Antonio, Texas. The USA men?s team also captured bronze in 2002. Hosts of prior U18 championships are: San Antonio, Texas in 2006; Isle de Margarita, Venezuela in 2002; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic in 1998; Santa Rosa, Argentina in 1994; and Montevideo, Uruguay in 1990.
Some top players to have represented the United States in the past U18 tournaments include Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1994); Carmelo Anthony (2002); Michael Beasley (2006), Chris Bosh (2002); Dee Brown (2002); Nick Collison (1998); Grant Hill (1990); Alan Houston (1990); Andre Iguodala (2002); Stephon Marbury (1994); Mike Miller (1998); Quentin Richardson (1998); and Deron Williams (2002).