Bennett Named Assistant Coach of U19 World Championship Team
May 15, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – USA Basketball has announced that Virginia head coach Tony Bennett has been added as an assistant coach of the U19 World Championship Team, which will compete at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship from June 27-July 7 in Prague, Czech Republic.
Bennett’s appointment was made by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee, which is chaired by Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors. Sean Ford, who serves as USA Basketball’s Men’s National Team Director, was also involved in Bennett’s selection.
Florida head coach Billy Donovan will serve as the head coach of the U19 World Championship Team, while VCU’s Shaka Smart and Bennett will be the assistants. Donovan, Smart and Gonzaga’s Mark Few guided the U18 World Championship Team to the gold medal at the FIBA World Championship in Brazil last summer.
“I’m honored to serve USA Basketball in my assistant role with the U19 World Championship Team,” Bennett said. “I’d like to thank Jim Boeheim, Sean Ford and Billy Donovan for this incredible opportunity. I have tremendous memories representing USA Basketball as a player in the U.S. Olympic Festival and Pan American Games, and I’m really looking forward to coaching some of our best young players in the country.”
USA Basketball has also invited Virginia senior guard Joe Harris (Chelan, Wash.) to its training camp for the 2013 World University Games and sophomore forward/center Mike Tobey (Monroe, N.Y.) has been invited to tryout for the U19 World Championship Team.
Harris, who earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors after leading UVa with 16.3 points per game, will compete for a roster position for Team USA at the 2013 World University Games, held July 7-16 in Kazan, Russia. Organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), the World University Games is a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24, and are or have been within the past year, a student at a college or university.
Training camp to select the 12-member team will be held June 24-July 1 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The final team selection will be determined prior to the team departing for Russia.The 6-11 Tobey, who tallied 6.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in 2012-13, will attend the U19 World Championship Team training camp, held June 14-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The U19 World Championship Team will play in three round-robin preliminary games June 27-29 against Ivory Coast, China and Russia in Podvinny Mlyn Arena in the Czech Republic. The top three teams of each group will advance to the second round, which takes place July 1-3 in Sparta Arena and Podvinny Mlyn Arena.
“I’m really happy and proud of Joe and Mike,” Bennett added. “These invitations were earned through a lot of hard work and dedication to basketball. They will have an opportunity to showcase their talents against high-level competition this summer. I’m sure they will represent Virginia well at the tryouts and give it their best shot to earn a roster spot.”
This marks Bennett’s fourth appearance with USA Basketball, and his second time as a coach. In seven games as a member of the 1991 USA Pan American Games Team, Bennett led the USA in assists (23) and was second in steals (15). He averaged 6.1 points per game for the USA, which went 6-1 en route to a bronze medal. He also won a gold medal in 1989 at the U.S. Olympic Festival. Additionally, Bennett served as a court coach during the 2011 USA World University Games Team’s training camp.
Bennett has guided the Cavaliers to a 76-53 record (.589 winning percentage) in four seasons. The Cavaliers have reached postseason play in each of the past two seasons, including the 2012 NCAA Tournament second round.