Butler’s Brad Stevens To Assist At USA Basketball Training Camp

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 10, 2010)   -- Butler head coach Brad Stevens is one of five coaches who have been selected to serve as court coaches during the 2010 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team training camp June 14-16 at the University of Texas at San Antonio, USA Basketball today announced. In addition to Stevens, tabbed as court coaches are Ken Ammann from Concordia University (Calif.), Randy Bennett from Saint Mary’s College (Calif.), Francis Flax from Brown Mackie Junior College (Kan.) and Brooks Thompson from the University of Texas at San Antonio. The coaching selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee.

University of Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel will lead the 2010 USA U18 National Team, while collegiate head coaches Paul Hewitt of Georgia Tech and Reggie Witherspoon of the University at Buffalo, are the USA U18 Team’s assistant coaches.
 
The five court coaches will work with the 2010 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team coaching staff and the 21 previously announced 18-and-unders who will attend the training camp in San Antonio. The camp will be used to select the 12-member team that will represent the USA at the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
 
Announced on March 17 as accepting invitations to attend the 2010 USA Basketball U18 National Team training camp were: Tracy Abrams (Mount Carmel H.S. / Chicago, Ill.); Keith Appling (Pershing H.S. / Detroit, Mich.); Vander Blue (James Madison Memorial H.S. / Madison, Wis.); Michael Chandler (Lawrence North H.S. / Indianapolis, Ind.); Trevor Cooney (Sanford H.S. / Wilmington, Del.); Abdul Gaddy (Washington / Tacoma, Wash.); Joshua Hairston (Montrose Christian School (Md.) / Fredericksburg, Va.); P.J. Hairston (Dudley Senior H.S. / Greensboro, N.C.); Tobias Harris (Half Hollow Hills West H.S. / Brookville, N.Y.); Mikael Hopkins (DeMatha Catholic H.S. / Hyattsville, Md.); Joe Jackson (White Station H.S. / Memphis, Tenn.); Terrence Jones (Jefferson H.S. / Portland, Ore.); Meyers Leonard (Robinson H.S. / Robinson, Ill.); Sheldon McClellan (Bellaire H.S. / Pearland, Texas); Quincy Miller (Quality Education Academy / Winston-Salem, N.C.); Jereme Richmond (Waukegan H.S. / Waukegan, Ill.); Austin Rivers (Winter Park H.S. / Winter Park, Fla.); Joshua Smith (Kentwood H.S. / Kent, Wash.); T.J. Taylor (Denison H.S. / Denison, Texas); Amir Williams (Detroit Country Day / Detroit, Mich.); and Patric Young (Providence School / Jacksonville, Fla.).

The FIBA Americas Men’s U18 Championship will be held June 26-30 at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. On March 5 the draw was held to determine the first round groups, and the USA was placed into Group A, along with Argentina, Mexico and the Virgin Islands. Group B includes Brazil, Canada, Puerto Rico and Uruguay. The U.S. will open preliminary play against the Virgin Islands on June 26 at 7:00 p.m. (all times listed are local, CDT). On June 27 the USA will face Mexico at 7:00 p.m. and will close preliminary play against South American rivals Argentina on June 28 at 7:00 p.m. The semifinals are slated for June 29, and the finals will be held June 30.
 
Not only will a gold medal be at stake, the top four finishing nations will qualify for the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship. Players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1992.

Syracuse University head coach and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim, an assistant coach for the 2009-12 USA Basketball Men’s National Team, chairs the USA Men’s Junior National Team Committee. The Committee also includes NCAA appointees Lorenzo Romar, University of Washington head coach; Bruce Weber, University of Illinois head coach; and University of North Carolina head coach Roy Williams; while 2002 USA Basketball World Championship Team member Jay Williams serves as the athlete representative.

Brad Stevens
“I’m really excited to be included and I’m looking forward to coming out,” said Stevens, who is the architect of one of the most monumental Cinderella stories in NCAA Tournament history. “Obviously we got our first taste of USA Basketball last year from a Butler perspective with our two players (Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack) who played on the U19 World Championship Team. I’m looking forward to the opportunity and I’m thankful for it.”

This past season, Stevens and his Bulldogs entered the 2010 NCAA Tournament as a No. 5 seed and rolled through the tournament before being stopped three points short of the title in a 61-59 loss to Duke in the championship game. Butler finished its most successful season in history with a 33-5 overall record, including a perfect 18-0 slate in the Horizon League for the regular season title and collected the Horizon League Tournament crown. The Bulldogs also assembled the longest winning streak in the nation heading into the NCAA title game with a school-record 25 straight victories. The 33 wins in 2009-10 also marked a school and Horizon League record, breaking the previous high-water mark of 30 set by Butler and Stevens in 2007-08.
 
Stevens, who has been at the Butler helm for just three years (2007-08 to present), earned his second consecutive Horizon League Coach of the Year honor and was named 2010 NABC All-District 12 Coach following his undefeated regular season conference run.
In all, Stevens owns an amazing 89-15 (.856) record, three NCAA Tournament appearances, three Horizon League regular season titles and two Horizon League Tournament crowns.
 
Stevens in his first year piloted the Bulldogs to a 30-4 slate, marking school and conference records for single-season victories, won the Horizon League regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA second round. In finishing with 30 victories, at 31 years of age, Stevens became the third-youngest NCAA Division I coach to achieve that mark.
 
After being slated to finish fifth in the league, Stevens in 2008-09 won his second Horizon League regular season title, earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament and finished with a 26-6 record. For his efforts, Stevens was named the Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year and the Horizon League Coach of the Year.

Prior to being elevated to head coach, Stevens spent six years (2001-02 through 2006-07) as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs. During that time Butler posted a 131-61 (.682) record, captured at least a share of three Horizon League regular season titles, won a pair of Horizon League Tournaments and advanced to the 2007 and 2003 NCAA Sweet Sixteens and played in the 2006 and 2002 NIT. He began his career at Butler in 2000-01 as coordinator of basketball operations.

Ken Ammann
At the helm of the Concordia men’s basketball program since 2001-02, Ammann has amassed an impressive 252-66 (.792) record during his nine years coaching the Eagles. His teams, which have never posted a losing season, have won 20 or more games in eight of his nine seasons, including four with 30 or more victories.
 
“It is a great honor and privilege to be involved with USA Basketball and represent Concordia University and the NAIA in that regard,” said Ammann. “This is an opportunity that I do not take lightly and I will do my best to serve the organization in any way I can.”

Most recently, the 2009-10 Eagles went 31-4 and advanced to the NAIA Tournament for the fourth consecutive year, marking the seventh time Ammann has coached the Eagles in the national tournament. He has directed Concordia to three NAIA title games, winning it all in 2002-03 with a squad that tallied the most victories in school history and posted a 36-4 slate on the season.

His NAIA title was even more impressive given the fact that the year before he arrived at Concordia, the Eagles won just 13 games. In his first year, Ammann’s team bettered that by eight wins to finish 21-2, and his NAIA championship came the following season.
 
Ammann’s quick successes at Concordia earned him the 2003 NAIA National Coach of the Year honor and in 2006-07, when his team finished with a 32-6 mark, captured its first Golden State Athletic Conference regular season title and advanced to the NAIA title game, he was named the 2007 GSAC Coach of the Year.
 
Ammann, an 18-year coaching veteran (1992-93 to present), began coaching as an assistant coach at San Jose State University in 1992-93. After spending two years there, Ammann worked as an assistant coach for two years at Canada College (1994-95 to 1995-96), three years at Pepperdine University (1996-97 through 1998-99) and two years at Azusa Pacific University (1999-2000 to 2000-01) before landing his first head coach assignment with Concordia.
 
Ammann played collegiately first at Cal State Bakersfield, then at Santa Ana College as a sophomore and finished up at Stanford University, where he was an Academic All-American.

Randy Bennett
The nine-year (2001-02 to present) head coach of Saint Mary’s College, Bennett has guided the Gaels to an overall record of 183-103 (.640) during that time. His teams over the last eight seasons have not posted a losing record, and in the last three seasons alone, Bennett’s Gaels went 81-20 for an impressive 80.2 winning percentage and three consecutive postseason berths.
 
“You can’t pass up an opportunity to work with an organization as respectable as USA Basketball,” said Bennett. “It’s an honor to be selected as part of this coaching staff, and I’m looking forward to working with the coaches, players and everyone involved.”

This past season Bennett guided the Gaels to their best season in program history. His 2009-10 squad defeated Gonzaga University, a team that had knocked Bennett out of the West Coast Conference Tournament four times since 2003, to win the 2010 WCC Tournament crown and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Saint Mary’s used that momentum to down the University of Richmond in the first round.  Advancing to the second round against No. 9 nationally ranked Villanova University, Bennett guided Saint Mary’s to a stunning upset to advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the second time in program history and first since 1959 when there were just 23 teams in the tournament. Bennett’s exploits earned him 2010 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year honors from The Sporting News.

The program’s all-time winningest coach with 183 victories, Bennett directed his 2007-08 squad to a 25-7 mark, an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and was named the 2008 Co-WCC Coach of the Year.

Bennett brings over a quarter of a century of coaching experience to the 2010 USA U18 National Team training camp. In addition to his nine years at Saint Mary’s, Bennett served as an assistant coach for 16 years (1985-86 through 2000-01) at the University of San Diego (1985-86,  1988-89 through 1995-96), University of Idaho (1986-87 through 1987-88), Pepperdine (1996-97 through 1998-99) and Saint Louis (1999-2000 through 2000-01).
 
A two-year collegiate player at Mesa Community College (Ariz.), Bennett played for the University of California at San Diego his final two years.

Francis Flax
The only head basketball coach that Brown Mackie has ever known, Flax has spent the last 18 seasons (1992-93 to present) compiling 344 victories, while capturing a pair of NJCAA Division II national championships (1999 and 2005). The 2008 inductee into the NJCAA Basketball Hall of Fame, Flax also advanced Brown Mackie to the 1997 and 1998 NJCAA Division II National Tournament Final Four.

“To be invited to coach at the USA Basketball training camp is an honor and distinction that very few coaches have the opportunity to experience,” said Flax. “Being able to represent Brown Mackie College and the junior college coaches throughout the United States means everything to me.  It is a culmination of persistence, patience, hard work, and dedication to helping youngsters achieve their dreams.”
 
Since BMC entered the NJCAA Division II ranks prior to the 1996-97 season, Flax has guided the Lions to a 300-168 record for a 64.1 winning percentage.  His 2009-10 squad went 22-13 and finished fifth in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.

In addition to coaching at Brown Mackie, Flax spent seven seasons (2001-07) coaching the Kansas Cagerz of the USBL. As the Cagerz head coach Flax directed teams to the 2002 and 2005 USBL Finals and in 2007, the league’s final season, his team won the USBL championship. When the league folded at the end of 2007, Flax had more victories in the ledger than any other active USBL coach with 129 wins.
 
Flax served a one-year (2008) stint as a NJCAA Basketball Coaches Association Division II representative and is currently the 2009 NJCAA Basketball Coaches Association vice president.
 
Prior to Brown Mackie, Flax coached at Highland Community College in Kansas and spent nine seasons coaching at a pair of Kansas high schools.  In all, including the high school, junior college and professional levels, Flax has posted 771 career victories, including 520 in the NJCAA.  

Brooks Thompson
Serving at the helm of the University of Texas at San Antonio squad since 2006-07, Thompson has been building his program over the last four years. In each of his first three seasons Thompson upped the number of victories, and in 2009-10 he hit the 19-win mark for a second consecutive season.

“Obviously it’s a great honor for me to have an opportunity to work with USA Basketball, and the talented group of kids and coaching staff that I’m going to have an opportunity to work with,” said Thompson. “Being a former NBA player and playing at a high level, but now being able to work with USA Basketball and the great organization that it is, I’m very honored and privileged and I can’t wait to get started.

“We’ve got a beautiful campus here. It’s obviously an honor for UTSA to be able to host this and have all these great coaches and players coming in here to showcase the beautiful facilities and campus we have here in San Antonio is going to be great.”

With Thompson at the helm, the Roadrunners have posted a four-year record of 58-63 (.479), including a 38-24 mark (.613) over the last two years.
 
Thompson, who played for five different NBA teams during his professional career, came to UTSA from Arizona State University, where he spent two seasons (2004-05 to 2005-06) as an assistant coach and helped the Sun Devils to a 2005 NIT berth. He served as head coach at Yavapai College for two years (2002-03 to 2003-04), was an assistant coach for the 2000-01 season at Southeastern Louisiana University and got his first coaching assignment at the helm of Metro Christian Academy (Okla.) in 1999-2000.
Thompson also was an undergraduate assistant coach at Oklahoma State in 1998-99 and served as the director of basketball operations in 2001-02.

Drafted by the Orlando Magic in the first round of the 1994 NBA Draft, Thompson played in the ’95 NBA Finals for the Magic. In addition to the Magic, Thompson played for the Utah Jazz (1996), Denver Nuggets (1996-97), Phoenix Suns (1997-98) and the New York Knicks (1998), and also played professionally in Greece (1997).
 
Thompson began his collegiate career at Texas A&M for two seasons (1989-90 to 1990-91) and earned 1991 All-Southwest Conference honors before transferring to Oklahoma State. As a Cowboy, Thompson earned 1993 All-Big Eight second team honors and was a 1994 All-Big Eight first team selection.
    
FIBA Americas U18 Championship For Men
Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifier, the tournament was held every four years from 1990 through 2006. FIBA changed its calendar, however, and in 2008 FIBA Americas began conducting tournament every other year, followed in the next summer by the FIBA U19 World Championship.

USA men’s teams are 33-2 in the U18 / Junior World Championship Qualifiers and have won gold in 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2006, while capturing silver in 2008 and bronze in 2002. Hosts of prior U18 championships are: Formosa, Argentina in 2008; San Antonio, Texas in 2006; Isla Margarita, Venezuela in 2002; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic in 1998; Santa Rosa, Argentina in 1994; and Montevideo, Uruguay in 1990.

A number of talented athletes have competed on the USA U18 National Teams, including Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1994); Carmelo Anthony (2002); Michael Beasley (2006); Chris Bosh (2002); Dee Brown (2002); Nick Collison (1998); Jonny Flynn (2006); Spencer Hawes (2006); Grant Hill (1990); Allan Houston (1990); Andre Iguodala (2002); Stephon Marbury (1994); Mike Miller (1998); Quentin Richardson (1998); Kyle Singler (2006); Kemba Walker (2008); and Deron Williams (2002).

Additionally, top international players in past U18 tournaments included: Leandro Barbosa (Brazil) in 1994; Jose Barea (Puerto Rico) in 2002; Gregory Echenique (Venezuela) in 2008; Juan Fernandez (Argentina) in 2008; Todd MacCulloch (Canada) in 1994; Jamal Magloire (Canada) in 1994; Peter Ramos (Puerto Rico) in 2002; Luis Scola (Argentina) in 1998; Tiago Splitter (Brazil) in 2002; and Jesse Young (Canada) in 1998.