April 17, 2012

Donovan to coach USA Basketball

Billy Donovan will be working with USA Basketball for the second-straight year after the Florida Gators announced on Tuesday that their head coach would hold the same position with Team USA for the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship this summer.

"It'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," he said in a statement.

Joining Donovan on the coaching staff are VCU head coach (and former Florida assistant) Shaka Smart and Gonzaga head coach Mark Few. Both will serve as his assistants as Donovan attempts to bring home a second-straight U18 title for the United States. Team USA won the 2010 tournament and has captured gold on four other occasions (1990, 1994, 1998, 2006).

Donovan will begin training camp with the team on June 5 in Colorado Springs, CO. He will start out with 25-30 players in a field that he and his staff must narrow down to a 12-man team by June 12. The remaining players will practice for a few more days before leaving for Sao Sebastiao do Paraiso, Brazil where Team USA will compete from June 16-20.

The United States will take on Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Mexico, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands with the tournament's winner advancing to the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championships next summer.

During preparations for the 2011 tournament, Donovan got to coach Florida sophomores center Patric Young and point guard Scottie Wilbekin. Young wound up making the U19 team but Wilbekin did not.

Invitations for the 2012 team have not been sent out yet but there is a possibility that Donovan could coach some Gators recruits in June. All players competing for a spot on the team must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1994.

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