Category Archives: USA Basketball

UConn’s Relationship With Bridgeport Could Grow

by Categorized: Geno Auriemma, Kia Nurse, UConn men's basketball, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball, Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard Date:

It’s likely the UConn men and women will return to Webster Bank Arena this season for regular-season games. And the possibility is great that both parties may agree to up the number to four [two for each program] in 2014-15.

“Going forward, I would not be surprised if its more than one,” Geno Auriemma said. “I don’t know the number would be. I’m not speaking for anyone, but there are times when it makes no sense for us to play anywhere by Gampel Pavilion. There are times when it makes great sense to play in Hartford. But there are other times when the fit is perfect and it makes all the sense in the world to play anyplace else other than up there. It works.”

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Sources: USA Hoops In Bridgeport; UConn Women At Mohegan Sun

by Categorized: Mohegan Sun Arena, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball, Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard Date:

The USA Women’s National Basketball Team, coached by Geno Auriemma, will play a September 15 exhibition game at Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena against Canada.
The announcement will be made at a press conference Monday at the arena. Auriemma is expected to attend.

Canada features UConn freshman guard Kia Nurse. Nurse is expected to the be national team’s point guard.
The game would be played after the United States holds its final domestic training camp at the Naval Academy from Sept. 7-10 and will likely be held in conjunction with at least one other game or scrimmage, which is likely to be held at the University of Delaware. The World Championship starts Sept. 27 in Turkey.


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Taurasi Plans To Stay Forever Young, Says UConn Fans Need Not Worry

by Categorized: Breanna Stewart, Bria Hartley, Diana Taurasi, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball Date:

Here’s some very good news about Diana Taurasi. She’s has no plans to shake off the youthful vigor she has for life.
“I don’t think growing up is in the plans for me,” she said Thursday at the Mohegan Sun Arena. “It’s not on my bucket list. I feel somewhat older, but lucky to be 11 years into my career and be on such a great team [in Phoenix]. It’s taken a while for to get back to this point.
“I want to stay in the sport. I don’t know what I would do without basketball. I would have to be involved and I would love to coach. I’d be very open to it, if it was in the right spot. Who knows?
“I never think too far ahead. I try to stay happy in the moment. The key is being around people you like. It’s hard to go into the gym with people you don’t care for. We are a barbeque team. We’ve had more freaking barbeques this season.”

Taurasi, turned 32 Wednesday. She is averaging 18.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 5.6 assists and had 19 points and six assists in 34 minutes during Thursday’s loss to the Sun.

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Auriemma Talks About His USA Basketball Staff

by Categorized: Geno Auriemma, USA Basketball Date:

On Wednesday morning, Geno Auriemma and Kevin Ollie (you may have heard of them) were at the New York Athletic Club in New York City preparing to be honored for winning the national championships of Division I basketball.

I was not there. But our Dom Amore, who covers the men’s program so well for the Hartford Courant, was there. And he has passed along some of what Geno had to say.

Here’s Auriemma talking about his USA Basketball staff that includes DePaul’s Doug Bruno, Sout Carolina’s Dawn Staley and Cheryl Reeve, the coach of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx.

“I thought it came out pretty well. We’ve got just enough of all the things we’d like to have, we’ve got some experience, we’ve got some new people. Dawn Staley has played, I don’t know how long in the Olympics. Doug has been through the world championship and the Olympics already, Cheryl has been in finals last three years in the WNBA, so I think we’ve got a little bit of everything.

“Chris [Dailey] is going to come back over with us to do all the scouting and organize all that stuff,

“It’s an exciting time. Now that I know what the expectation level is, it makes it a little easier to plan for it. The first time, you’re not that sure what’s going to happen and there is a lot of anxiety. Now you’re a little more relaxed.”

Auriemma said USA Basketball is going to try to get Jen Rizzotti, the Hartford coach, more involved in the organizational and coaching process, as well.

“With USA basketball, one great thing, if you get involved early and you’re an assistant coach and you do a lot of stuff that nobody wants to do, that’s really hard to do,” Aureimma said. “Everybody thinks, I want to be an assistant at Olympics and I want that to be my first job or I want to be head coach at 18 and under in the world championships’

“You’ve got to start out doing the little stuff. People like Doug and Jennifer, that’s what they did and USA Basketball is really good at rewarding those people.

“We have an interesting scenario with coaches and players. We want some players who have been there so we have an experienced team, but we also want some new p layers to start laying the groundwork for the next Olympics. Same with coaches, we want some who have been here and done that, and also some young coaches that can eventually take over.”

USA Basketball will holding training camp at the U.S. Naval Academy from Sept. 7-11 prior to the World Championship in Turkey later that month


Auriemma’s World Championship Staff Named

by Categorized: Cheryl Reeve, Doug Bruno, Geno Auriemma, USA Basketball Date:

DePaul University’s Doug Bruno, the Minnesota Lynx’ Cheryl Reeve, and University of South Carolina’s Dawn Staley, have been selected as assistant coaches for the 2014 USA Basketball women’s world championship team coached by Geno Auriemma.

Bruno and Staley, whose teams will both play UConn in the 2014-15 season, have served as assistant coaches for USA Basketball at the FIBA World Championship and Olympic Games, Bruno in 2010 and 2012, and Staley in 2006 and 2008. Reeve has a pair of WNBA titles as a head coach with the Lynx (2011, 2013) and two as an assistant coach with the Detroit Shock (2006, 2008).

“Overall, I think we’ve got a great mix,” Auriemma said in a release. “We certainly have enough experience, both USA Basketball-wise, college, pro; we have a mix of personalities that I think is going to be really, really good. We have some continuity with Doug back. We have an opportunity to bring in some younger coaches, who hopefully aspire down the road to be head coaches at USA Basketball. They’re proven winners. They’re the kind of people that USA Basketball is really important to them, and most importantly, they’re people I can work with, people I have a lot of respect for and I think the committee really did a great job.”

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Geno (And USA Basketball) Love Kayla McBride

by Categorized: 2014 NCAA women's tournament, Geno Auriemma, Kayla McBride, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball Date:

After competing against him for three years, helping to beat his team more frequently than anyone in recent history, Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride was somewhat at a loss for words in a huddle at USA Basketball camp listening to its national coach, Geno Auriemma.
“I was definitely different,” McBride said Saturday. “It was a little weird knowing I go to Notre Dame. But it was a great opportunity. He is the Olympic coach for a reason. Being able to learn some things from him was a great opportunity for me to have.”
Auriemma loved what he saw from McBride during the brief weekend the team met in Las Vegas last October. It was the same camp UConn’s Breanna Stewart, Stefanie Dolson and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis attended.

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Louisville’s Jeff Walz Named To USA Basketball’s U18 Staff

by Categorized: Jeff Walz, Louisville women's basketball, USA Basketball Date:

Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz will be an assistant for the 2014 U18 National Team which will play in FIBA Americas Championship with teams from two continents and the Caribbean. The top four teams then advance to the 2015 U19 World Championship.

“I am honored to have been selected to represent USA basketball as an assistant coach for the U18 Women’s National Team,” Walz said. “Since beginning in this profession, the realization of this endeavor has been a life-long ambition. I am thrilled to be amongst some of the greatest collegiate coaches and hope to contribute both on and off the court. I appreciate USA Basketball for recognizing my passion and will work diligently to help mentor and coach some of the most talented young women in the game.”

South Carolina’s Dawn Stanley is the team’s head coach and and Michigan’s Kim Barnes-Arico another assistant with Walz.

Members of the U18 team will be determined at USA Basketball’s trials this May.

Doug Bruno And The Quiet Moment After Winning Gold

by Categorized: Doug Bruno, Geno Auriemma, Genos1000th, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball Date:

Geno Auriemma coaches his 1,000th game at UConn on Feb. 22 at Houston. To commemorate the milestone, the Hartford Courant will occasionally publish a memory or remembrance of the Hall of Fame coach from someone who helped play a role in his journey.

Of all the coaches Geno Auriemma has worked against – and with – during his 29 years on the sidelines, its doubtful any have had the professional and personal impact DePaul’s Doug Bruno has had on him. When you see these two together, in any situation, you see evidence of true friendship and respect. But Bruno is also a great coach. And for all those reasons, Geno asked USA Basketball to allow Bruno to travel the world with him during the last quadrennial of World Championship and Olympic basketball.

“Only six hours earlier, the 2012 USA Women’s Olympic Basketball Team had beaten France to win Gold.  It is 5:00 a.m.,and Geno and I are the last remaining from the post-game party that had ended less than an hour earlier.  We were sitting on a couch at the entrance to the Mayfair Westbury Hotel, which was where both the men’s and women’s USA Basketball teams headquartered.  Geno was smoking a well-deserved cigar and we were both describing to each other what it felt like to ‘Win Gold.’

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Carol Callan And The First Impression

by Categorized: Carol Callan, Geno Auriemma, Genos1000th, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball Date:

Geno Auriemma coaches his 1,000th game at UConn on Feb. 22 at Houston. To commemorate the milestone, the Hartford Courant will occasionally publish a memory or remembrance of the Hall of Fame coach from someone who helped play a role in his journey.

No one has seen more of the world than Carol Callan, the manager of USA Basketball’s various women’s basketball programs. Callan and Auriemma will share their second World Championship and Olympiad together later this year and in 2016..

“At the 1993 Olympic Festival in San Antonio,  I was involved with USA Basketball as a volunteer committee member representing the NFHS (National High School Federation),” Callan said. “Geno was the head coach of the West team and we began a conversation in the arena away from the court. It was the most amazing thing; he acted as if we had been friends for a long time and he was dialed in to the conversation regardless of the hectic environment going on around us.

“It didn’t matter if his game was up next, he genuinely was curious about everything, never gave the impression of being rushed for time, never looked around for more important people to see and spent a long time talking about more than basketball.

“Even today, over-scheduled and a celebrity, I have seen him stop on the street to talk to a stranger who happens to recognize him.  He treats everyone the same from the lowly staffer to the corporate executive.  He has a genuine interest and curiosity in everyone he meets.  Some things never change.”

Geno’s Quotes Of The Night

by Categorized: Geno Auriemma, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball Date:

Geno Auriemma said he had a discussion with his coaches before the game about what to expect Monday night.
“I said if we win by 20-something, I will be really happy. if they beat the hell out of us, I won’t be that disappointed because maybe we will be stunned into really good stuff happening down the road. What I didn’t want was to lose a close game because that starts to really work on you. And when it was a one-point game (50-49) I was an anxious as anyone to see what we would do. And we responded.”

Also Auriemma, coach of the senior national team for the second straight Olympic cycle, was asked what he thought of six college players being among the 33 players picked for the pool that will yield the 2014 World Championship team.

Three of those players are his – Stefanie Dolson, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart. The answer might surprise you.

“If it was up to me there would be no college players in the pool,” Auriemma said. “But then again, I am thrilled there are six because whomever coaches the 2020 Olympic team is going to need players to step in because Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Lindsay Whalen and Tamika Catchings aren’t going to be around. USA Basketball needs to start identifying who the next group of players will be.”

Geno also said he wanted his team to make absolutely sure that Odyssey Sims worked harder than she’s worked all season to score points Monday. She scored 20, but was 4 of 25.