Category Archives: USA Basketball

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.

Geno Is Right Again: Stewie Could Be The Best Ever

by Categorized: Breanna Stewart, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball Date:

 There are moments when the national magnitude of UConn women’s basketball shines even brighter than it usually does. One of them occurred before Tuesday’s 50-point belly laugh over Houston at Gampel Pavilion.

   In a pregame ceremony, five of UConn’s nine core players were honored for winning gold last summer playing for USA Basketball in the World University Games and the FIBA U-19 World Championship.

   And if Stefanie Dolson hadn’t been mending her injured foot, she would have joined Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Morgan Tuck, Moriah Jefferson, Bria Hartley and Breanna Stewart at midcourt

  As if it wasn’t already plainly obvious, this UConn program, now with 22 straight wins, knows how to assemble and develop talent.

   But standing even taller,  literally and figuratively, is Stewart, the sensational 6-foot-4 sophomore, who on Tuesday was named USA Basketball’s Player of the Year for the second time. And she doesn’t turn 20 until August.

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Stewart USA Basketball Player Of The Year

by Categorized: Breanna Stewart, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball Date:

UConn’s Breanna Stewart has been named the USA Basketball’s Female Athlete of the Year.

“It’s a great honor,” said Stewart, who also earned the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year award in 2011. “I love competing with USA Basketball and have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to do that for the last several years. I’m so happy and thankful that USA Basketball has given me all the opportunities it has to travel abroad and learn a lot.”

In leading the USA to a 9-0 record and gold medal at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, Stewart was named MVP of the 16-team tournament. Having also won a gold medal at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship, Stewart became one of just three U.S. female athletes to have played on two USA U19 World Championship Teams.

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UConn’s USA Basketball Bunch Has Friend In UCF Coach Joi Williams

by Categorized: American Athletic Conference, Breanna Stewart, Central Florida women's basketball, Joi Williams, Morgan Tuck, Stefanie Dolson, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball Date:

When UConn plays at Central Florida on New Year’s Day,  five of its players will be happy to again see a coach who worked with them at various levels of their USA Basketball careers.
UCF coach Joi Williams is in her seventh season with the Knights. She led them to the 2009 and 2011 NCAA Tournaments after winning Conference USA Championships. But she has also worked extensively with national teams and is now in the midst of a four-year term with the USA Junior National Team Committee, helping select coaches and athletes for USA Basketball’s college-aged competitions.

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Jen Rizzotti Jokes About Where Stars Had Their Starts

by Categorized: jen rizzotti, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball Date:

It’s not a joke if it’s a fact. But Jen Rizzotti had a big smile on her face Saturday when asked about how well UConn’s front court of Stef Dolson, Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck and Kalana Mosqueda-Lewis played in Saturday’s 89-34 UConn rout of Hartford.

Rizzotti coached them all in USA Basketball in either 2010 and 2011 on World Championship teams before any of them arrived at UConn to play for her mentor, Coach Auriemma. And who knows, when USA Basketball is deciding who should be Geno’s college assistant on the World Championship staff, maybe that fact will help her candidacy

.”Let’s not forget that,” said Rizzotti laughing. “And they all like to show off when they are around me. So allow me to take some credit [for their skill level].”

After missing the final preseason game (ankle) Moriah Jefferson returned with great flair. She scored a career-high 17 points in the win, using her speed and slight frame to work easily into the tiny spaces for baskets. Her previous career high was 16 points in the first-round win over Idaho in last year’s tournament. … No. 3 Stanford’s win over Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Ma., was highlighted by Amber Orrange’s 19 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. Chiney Ogwumike led with 30 points and 14 rebounds. The Cardinal plays UConn at Gampel Pavilion … Former UConn guard Lauren Engeln, one of five members of the freshman class of 2010, started for BC and had 10 points in 36 minutes. Two other transfers from the class, Michala Johnson [Wisconsin] and Samarie Walker [Kentucky] also start for their new programs. …The Tulsa Shock of the WNBA will be among the teams scouting Monday’s UConn-Stanford game. The Shock, Connecticut Sun, New York Liberty and San Antonio are in the draft lottery. Stef Dolson and Chiney Ogumike

Rizzotti Says She’d Love To Be Geno’s Olympic Assistant – If She’s Asked, Of Course

by Categorized: 2014 World Championship, 2016 Summer Olympics, Geno Auriemma, jen rizzotti, UConn women's basketball, USA Basketball Date:

On the day USA Basketball announced Geno Auriemma had accepted a second term as coach of the women’s national team, I asked him if he had requested anything in return from them.
You know, a favor – or two
Specifically, I was wondering if Auriemma had asked Carol Callan or Jerry Colangelo whether he could have a say about who would be on his coaching staff.
I figured that’s kind of important for the mental health of a coach getting ready to spend another four years traveling the world.
And let’s face it, USA Basketball owes Auriemma big-time. If it has any consideration for the difficulty Auriemma had making the decision to coach its team again, giving him the assistants – and, ah, security director – he can work with is an easy request to accommodate.

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