Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan has been selected to lead USA Basketball during the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship from June 16-20 in Brazil.
Donovan, a court coach during the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s U19 National Team Training Camp last summer, will represent his country as a head coach in international competition for the first time in his career. He chose Virginia Commonwealth head coach Shaka Smart (a former Florida assistant) and Gonzaga head coach Mark Few as assistants for his coaching staff.
“It’s always an honor to be selected to represent your country, and I’m incredibly thankful for this opportunity to be a part of USA Basketball,” he said in a statement released by the school. “I have great respect for Shaka Smart and Mark Few, and I’m looking forward to working alongside them.”
Donovan will begin coaching the team on June 5 in Colorado as training camp opens before narrowing the roster down to 12 prior to getting on a plane for Brazil.
It will be interesting to see if any of the Gators’ 2012 commitments join USA Basketball for training camp or make final cuts for the team.
Florida sophomores center Patric Young and point guard Scottie Wilbekin tried out for the U19 team in 2011 though only Young made the final cut.
The United States will go up against seven other teams (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands) in an attempt to win the tournament and qualify for the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship in June of next year. Donovan is not guaranteed to be the head coach of that team should USA Basketball advance.