Additional Quotes >> USA Men's Youth Olympic Games Head Coach Eric Flannery
June 23, 2010 - San Antonio, Texas
Eric Flannery, 2010 USA Youth Olympic Games Team head coach (St. Edward High School, Ohio)
What do you rhink about your team for the Youth Olympic Games?
First of all I'm excited about the opportunity and I think we do have a great 3-on-3 basketball team. We've got two solid guards that I think are two guys who could have easily made the U17 team in Sterling (Gibbs) and L.J. (Rose); we've got the combination of a versatile player in Angelo (Chol) who I think can play the perimeter as well as inside; and then we've got the big Caudill in the middle, a guy who I think can post people up and gives us an added dimension for this unique experience. Because this is something different I think we have our bases covered. We have a good group of versatile guys that I think can handle a lot of different situations.
What do you think of the whole concept?
It's an exciting ideal in the sense of having a real youth Olympic Games experiences. Excitement is the word for this. I like to think of myself and these players as almost pioneers of a new type of basketball being played. It's the first time this Youth Olympic Games is being held, and the first time we've been involved in 3-on-3 basketball, there's a lot of gray area here but that's what makes it exciting. It's a unique opportunity and I can't say enough about how excited I am to be a part of it.
What do you think will be different about a 3-on-3 tournament?
Well basketball is basketball so you still got to put the ball in the hole. Since it's a half court game, since there's a 10 second shot clock, since you're only utilizing three (players) instead of five, there's a lot that is different. The style is going to be something, at least in my opinion, that we are going to have an ideal going in about how to play, but I think it's going to be something that we're going to have adjust with on the fly and make adjustments as we go and see how other countries and other teams are playing and try to make those adjustments while we're going through the Youth Olympic Games. That's just another aspect of why this thing is so intriguing and exciting.
So it's an ongoing learning experience?
It really is. When I was asked to do it, I was privileged and extremely honored, but now the fun part has begun and keeps going because every time I sit down and think of a different concept of what we are going to do offensively or defensively, something new pops into my head. It's just an ongoing learning process. I keep talking to different coaches and different people about it and they keep giving me their input and suggestions but nobody has been through it before so again that adds to the great opportunity. Here we have an opportunity to win a medal in an Olympic Games so we can't overlook that aspect. Our mission and our goal is still to win a gold medal and do the best we can doing that but learning in the process.
What are the plans for training?
We're training in Springfield. I think just getting the guys together and really playing as much of the game with the new rules and getting them the opportunity to be comfortable in actual game situations. Then you've got to adjust your drill work and adjust everything you do according to that type of game. So a lot of reading screens; a lot of quick hitters and quick shots. Aain with a 10 second shot clock you don't have a lot of time to run an offense, but you have to be a very good basketball player. I think we have four guys that are great basketball players that will learn quickly.
About being named head coach of the USA Men's Youth Olympic Games?
Having been a part of the USA Basketball Developmental Committee for the past 10 years, I have always felt a great sense of pride and honor in what USA Basketball represents. Now that I am getting the opportunity to coach, it has given me an even greater sense honor. To me, any time you can represent your country and what we stand for, that is the pinnacle of any profession.