Floridaís Billy Donovan Selected To Lead USA At 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship
- Mark Few of Gonzaga, Shaka Smart of Virginia Commonwealth Named Assistant Coaches -April 17, 2012 ē Colorado Springs, Colo.
USA Basketball will be led by three experienced and successful college coaches this summer at the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, including the University of Floridaís Billy Donovan as the USA head coach, with Mark Few of Gonzaga University and Shaka Smart of Virginia Commonwealth University as assistant coaches. The coaching selections were made by the USA Basketball Menís Junior National Team committee.
ďIt's always an honor to be selected to represent your country, and I'm incredibly thankful for this opportunity to be a part of USA Basketball,Ē Donovan said. ďI have great respect for Shaka Smart and Mark Few, and I'm looking forward to working alongside them.Ē
The USA is the reigning champion from the 2010 U18 tournament, when Quincy Miller (Baylor) hit a game-winning 3-pointer to help down Brazil, 81-78. The USA brought home silver in 2008 after falling to host Argentina despite a tournament MVP performance by Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats).
ďCoach Donovan has been one of the premier coaches in college basketball over the past 15 years. Heís won at the highest level of college basketball, and Iím sure that experience will translate well to the USA Basketball Menís U18 National Team,Ē said Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach and chair of the Junior National Team Committee. ďHaving successful coaches like Mark Few and Shaka Smart in the program will make this a tremendously strong staff. The USA Menís U18 Team is going to benefit from having some of brightest teachers in college basketball guiding them.Ē
Following the first three or four days of training camp for approximately 25-30 players from June 5-12 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo., finalist for the team will be selected by the USA Menís Junior National Team Committee and will continue to train at the USOTC.
The 12-members of the 2012 USA Menís U18 National Team will be selected prior to the teamís departure for the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, which will be played June 16-20 in Sao SebastiŠo do Paraiso, Brazil. Players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1994.
ďAnytime you have the opportunity to represent your country, it is a positive and something to take a lot of pride in,Ē Few said. ďIím looking forward to the experience of being a part of USA Basketball. Iím also really looking forward to working with both Billy and Shaka. It will be a great opportunity for professional development.Ē
ďIt means a great deal to be selected to participate in USA Basketball and be a part of team that is going overseas to represent our country,Ē Smart said. ďIím really excited about working with both Billy Donovan and Mark Few, quite simply they are two of the absolute best in the business.Ē
Eight teams will compete in the 2012 U18 zone qualifier, including the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Mexico, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. The top four finishing teams in the tournament will qualify for next summerís 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.
In the hunt for a sixth gold medal, USA men's teams are 38-2 overall in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship (formerly known as the Junior World Championship Qualifier), and have won gold in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010, silver in 2008 and bronze in 2002.
Former U.S. players of note in the U18 championship include: Carmelo Anthony (2002); Chris Bosh (2002); Jonny Flynn (2006); Grant Hill (1990); Andre Iguodala (2002); Kyrie Irving (2010); Austin Rivers (2010); Kyle Singler (2006); Walker (2008); and Deron Williams (2002).
The tournament also has featured many star players from other countries in the FIBA Americas zone, including Leandro Barbosa (Brazil, 1994); Jose Barea (Puerto Rico, 2002); Jamal Magloire (Canada, 1994); Raul Neto (Brazil, 2010); and Luis Scola (Argentina, 1998).
In addition to chair Boeheim, the USA Basketball Menís Junior National Team Committee includes NCAA appointees Lorenzo Romar (University of Washington), Bruce Weber (Kansas State University) and Roy Williams (University of North Carolina), as well as athlete representative Jay Williams (2002 USA World Championship Team).
This is Donovan's second opportunity to work with USA Basketball. This past June, he served as a court coach for the 2011 USA Basketball Menís U19 World Championship Team training camp.
In 16 seasons as head coach of the Florida Gators (1996-97 to present), Donovan has compiled a 386-158 overall record (.710 winning percentage). He has won four Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships (2000, 2001, 2007 and 2011), three consecutive SEC tournament championships (2005-2007), made three appearances in the NCAA title game (2000, 2006 and 2007) and won two National Championships (2006 and 2007).
Most recently, he led his 2011-12 squad to the NCAA Elite Eight and a 26-11 record. In the past seven seasons, he has led Florida to four Elite Eight appearances, which is more than any school in the nation except North Carolina (five) and Kansas (also four).
Donovanís back-to-back national titles marked just the seventh time in NCAA history that a program had won the national championship in consecutive years, and he joined Adolph Rupp as the only SEC coaches to win multiple titles.
With the Gators, he has posted 14 consecutive 20-win seasons, two 30-win seasons and a school record of 35 wins in 2007. He has led his teams to postseason play in 15-straight seasons, missing postseason play in his first year only (1996-97).
In all, Donovan has won 28 NCAA Tournament games, more than three times the amount of all prior UF coaches combined. With the third most wins in SEC menís basketball history, his winning percentage is the highest in UF history and he sits more than 100 overall wins ahead of the previous winningest coach.
A few of his many honors and accolades include 1994 National Rookie Coach of the Year by Basketball Times, 1994 Southern Conference Coach of the Year, ESPN.com's 2001 National Coach of the Year and National Association of Basketball Coaches District VI Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2003. In April 2010, he became the youngest recipient of the Wooden Award's "Legends of Coaching" honor, and he was named the SEC Coach of the Year in 2011.
Prior to Gainesville, Donovan was a standout student-athlete at Providence College, where he earned his bachelor's degree in general social studies and led the Friars to their best season in school history and a trip to the Final Four in 1987, Donovan's senior year.
After spending two seasons as a reserve player, Donovan thrived under new coach Rick Pitino and became one of the premier players in Providence history. The Rockville Centre, N.Y., native averaged 15.1 ppg. as a junior and 20.6 ppg. as a senior to earn All-America honorable mention. He set single-season school records as a senior with 97 3-pointers made, 237 3-pointers attempted and 1,234 minutes played. That same year, he was named the NCAA Tournament Southeast Region Most Outstanding Player and earned a spot on the Big East All-Tournament Team. In 1999, he was inducted into the Providence College Hall of Fame and named to the 10-man All-Time Providence Civic Center Team.
Donovan played professionally for one season with the New York Knicks and then spent a year with an investment banking firm on Wall Street before embarking on his coaching career.
He was an assistant with Pitino's Kentucky Wildcats for five seasons (1989-90 through 1993-94), including a Final Four run in 1993, and his first head coaching job was at Marshall University in 1994-95.
Inheriting a Thundering Herd squad that had won nine games the previous season, Donovan led his team to an 18-9 record and a Southern Conference championship in his first season and a 17-11 mark in 1995-96.
Few undertakes his second selection by USA Basketball after serving as a court coach for the 2009 USA Basketball Men's U19 World Championship/World University Games Team Trials.
In 13 seasons (1999-00 to present) as head coach of Gonzaga, Few has compiled a 342-90 record for the second-best active winning percentage in the nation (.792), trailing only Roy Williams. He has led the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament each and every season, including four trips to the Sweet Sixteen.
Most recently in 2011-12, Few earned his 17th NCAA Tournament win when Gonzaga, which finished the season 26-7, topped West Virginia before falling to Ohio State in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.†
He has led Gonzaga to nine West Coast Conference (WCC) tournament titles and captured or shared 11-straight conference regular season titles (2001-2011), which is second-best all-time behind UCLAís 13-staight regular season crowns.
In WCC play, Few has compiled a 163-21 overall head coaching record and is just two wins away from tying the all-time WCC wins leader Carroll Williams (165-137). Few is the winningest coach in conference history by percentage (.886) and has been selected WCC Coach of the Year eight times (2001-2006, 2008-shared, 2010).
Few has spent his entire collegiate coaching career with the Bulldogs. He served as a graduate assistant in 1989-90 and 1990-91 before becoming an assistant coach for eight seasons (1991-92 through 1998-99). With Few as an assistant, Gonzaga won four WCC regular season championships and captured the conference tournament title in 1995.
As a head coach, he has twice led teams to a high of 29 wins, including a 29-4 record in 2001-02 and 2005-06.
A 1987 graduate with a bachelorís degree in physical education from the University of Oregon, Few earned a masterís of athletic administration from Gonzaga in 1993.
He first walked the sidelines as an assistant coach at his high school alma mater, Creswell High School in Creswell, Ore., from 1986-1988 before moving to Sheldon High School in Eugene, Ore., as an assistant coach in 1988-89.
This is Smartís second selection by USA Basketball as he previously served as a court coach for the 2011 USA Basketball Menís World University Games Team Training Camp.
In three seasons at VCU, Smart has compiled an 84-28 record (.750 winning percentage), capturing the College Basketball Invitational title in 2010 and advancing the NCAA Final Four in 2011. In three seasons, he is 11-2 in postseason games.
Most recently in 2011-12, Smart led VCU to a 29-7 season, setting a school-record for wins after downing Wichita State in the NCAA Tournament before falling to Indiana, 63-61.
Just 35 years old, Smart is one of college basketballís 10 youngest Division I coaches.
In his first year at VCU, Smart led the Rams to a 27-9 record, followed by a 28-12 finish in his sophomore campaign, including a memorable run to the 2011 NCAA Final Four.
Prior to 2011, no VCU team had ever won more than one game in the NCAA Tournament. The 2010-11 squad won five, captivating the nation as it became just the third No. 11 seed to ever advance to the national semifinals. The Rams finished the season ranked No. 6 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, the highest national ranking ever by a Colonial Athletic Association member.
Smartís coaching career includes stints with Donovanís staff at Florida and Oliver Purnell at Clemson.
In Gainesville, Smart spent the 2008-09 season with the Gators, helping lead the program to a 25-11 record and the NIT quarterfinals.
In a pair of seasons at Clemson (2006-07 and 2007-08), Smart helped coach the Tigers to 49 wins and back-to-back postseason appearances, including an NIT championship game appearance in 2007 and an NCAA Tournament berth in 2008.
Smart also spent three seasons as an assistant at Akron (2003-04 to 2005-06), two years as director of basketball operations at Dayton (2001-02 to 2002-03) and two seasons right out of college at California University of Pennsylvania (1999-00 and 2000-01).
The successful coach played basketball at Kenyon College, and graduated magna cum laude in 1999 with a degree in history. A four-year starter and three-year captain, he holds Kenyon single-season (184) and career (542) assist marks. As a senior in 1998-99, he was an All-North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) selection and was the NCAC Scholar Athlete of the Year. He was one of 20 students selected for the 1999 USA Today All-USA Academic team and received a NCAA postgraduate scholarship.
He earned a masterís in social science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2001.
About USA Basketball
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
Since 2008, USA Basketball menís and womenís teams have compiled a sterling 134-6 win-loss record in FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. USA teams are the current menís and womenís champions of the Olympics and the FIBA World Championship; FIBA womenís U19 world champions;†the menís and womenís title holders for the FIBA U17 World Championship; and the menís and womenís U18 and U16 FIBA Americas champions. USA Basketball currently lists No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.