February 7, 2013

SMART NAMED AS ASSISTANT ON U-19 NATIONAL TEAM

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team committee seemed to have found a recipe for success last summer when they selected Billy Donovan, Mark Few and Shaka Smart as the U-18 National Team coaching staff; a team that went on to win the FIBA World Championship.

The coaching staff will look to continue that success in 2013 as the same three have been selected to coach the U-19 National Team this summer.

"It's an incredible honor to once again have the opportunity to coach some of the finest young players in the country and represent the United States in a national competition," Smart said. "I'm very humbled to once again be asked to participate."

Billy Donovan, head coach of the Florida Gators, will again serve as the head coach and Gonzaga's Mark Few will be the other assistant alongside Smart. Smart is excited about the opportunity to coach with the same coaching staff, a group that proved to be effective last summer at the World Championship in Brazil.

"I think our personalities fit together really well. We all want to be a part of something bigger than any part of us, that's something that I've always been impressed about with Billy as successful as he's been; all he cares about is the team that he's a part of and winning. And Mark is such a terrific competitor and has such a way with the players that he's invaluable to the staff," said Smart. "I just try to bring some youthful energy, those guys are the guys that have won hundreds of games. I also try to bring a level of focus to the defensive end that compliments their knowledge on the offensive side."

All of the coaching selections are made by the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team committee, which is headed by Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim.

For Smart, this will be the third time he has been selected to work with USA Basketball. Two summers ago, he served as a court coach for the 2011 USA Basketball Men's World University Games Team Training Camp.

Tryouts and training camp for this year's team will take place June 14-19 in Colorado Springs, Colo. at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. The team will play in three round-robin preliminary games June 27-29 with games against Ivory Coast, China and Russia. The USA will play their games in Podvinny Mlyn Arena in the Czech Republic. The top three teams of each group will advance to the next round. Second round games take place July 1-3 in Sparta Arena and Podvinny Mlyn Arena.

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