Calipari named head coach of USA men's U19 world cup team

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Kentucky men’s basketball head coach, John Calipari, has been named the Head Coach of the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team and will lead Team USA at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship in July in Cairo.

The decision was officially announced Wednesday after Calipari was selected by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.

“Being a part of USA Basketball is special,” Calipari said. “What Jerry Colangelo has done, along with Jim Tooley and Sean Ford, to not only build the national team but also build a winning culture with all the teams, has been incredible to watch. This gives me an opportunity to give back to the game that has been so good to my family and me as well as a game that I love. It is an honor to be asked to coach.”

Calipari will oversee the direction of the team, starting with training camp, June 18-25, at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There, Calipari and his staff will select the 12-member USA U19 World Cup Team before heading to Egypt for the biennial FIBA World Championship, July 1-9.

“USA Basketball has assembled an outstanding staff led by Coach Calipari, and the team will excel under their leadership,” said Matt Painter, Purdue University head coach and chair of the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee.

The 25-season college head coach, Calipari has guided six teams to the Final Four – including four in a five-year period – led one to the national championship in 2012, and helped 39 players earn selection in the NBA Draft during his college coaching career.

Colorado head coach Tad Boyle and Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning will serve as assistants. Calipari was an assistant at Kansas (1983-85) during parts of the careers of Boyle and Manning.

“I coached both Tad and Danny at the University of Kansas,” Calipari said. “I’m so proud of what they’ve become as coaches and as representatives of this game. I’m looking forward to reuniting and learning from both of these special coaches.”

Team USA will look for its third straight title at the FIBA World Championship after capturing gold at the 2013 and 2015 tournaments.

Calipari’s new team, the United States, drew Group D for preliminary-round games at the FIBA World Championship and will open against Iran on July 1. Team USA will then play Angola on July 2 and will cap preliminary round action vs. Italy on July 4 (game times are to be determined).

The United States earned its berth into the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup by virtue of claiming gold at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

Following the preliminary round, all 16 teams will be seeded according to group-play results and will advance to the July 5 round of 16. Winners will advance to the July 7 medal quarterfinals, while the remaining teams will continue playing out for classification. The medal semifinals will be held July 8, and the gold- and bronze-medal games are slated for July 9.

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