Monday, September 30, 2013
US announces assistants for women's hoops camp
Doug Bruno, Pokey Chatman, Jennifer Rizzotti and Dawn Staley will assist Geno Auriemma at the U.S. women's basketball training camp in Las Vegas this weekend.
Bruno was an assistant on the 2012 Olympic team and the 2010 world championship squad that both won gold medals.
"Working with USA Basketball and the greatest women's basketball players and coaches in the world is always a thrill and an honor," said Bruno, who owns a 531-294 in his 27 years at DePaul.
Staley helped the U.S. to a gold as an assistant coach at the 2008 Beijing Games. She also won three Olympic gold medals as a player from 1996-2004. Staley just was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month.
"USA Basketball has been an important part of my career, and the opportunity to work with the best women's basketball players in our country as we start preparing for the 2016 Olympics is exciting," said Staley, who has spent the last five seasons as head coach of South Carolina.
Rizzotti has coached some of the younger U.S. women's basketball teams, including leading the U-19 squad to a gold medal at the world championship in 2011.
"It's always a thrill for me to get a call from USA Basketball," said Rizzotti, who played for Auriemma at Connecticut before taking over as head coach of Hartford in 1999. "It's an honor to be asked to assist at the USA National Team's training camp and work with the best coaches and players in the country. It's also a privilege to work side by side with Geno Auriemma, this country's premier women's basketball coach."
Chatman will be making her appearance with the national team. She was an assistant on the 2005 world university games squad. Chatman helped guide Chicago to the WNBA playoffs for the first time in the franchise history this past season.
Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve also was selected as a court coach, but won't be able to attend after leading the Lynx to their third straight WNBA finals, which begin Sunday.
Assisting at the camp doesn't guarantee that they will be helping out at the world championship next Fall in Turkey. Teams are only allowed three assistant coaches at the worlds. The training camp gets underway Friday and will be used to identify players for the U.S. national team pool, from which the world championship team will be selected.
There will be 28 players at the camp, including three-time Olympic gold medalists Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and Tamika Catchings. Joining the three veterans are 2012 London Games gold medalists Candace Parker, Sylvia Fowles and Tina Charles as well as 2008 Olympian Cappie Pondexter.
Olympic medalists Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Angel McCoughtry are unable to attend as they are playing in the WNBA finals.
Also invited are WNBA rookies Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins. Griner was part of the 2012 pool but turned down a chance to play in the Olympics to focus on school and her ailing mother.
The training camp also includes seven college athletes, including four of U.S. coach Geno Auriemma's own UConn players. Stefanie Dolson, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Bria Hartley and Breanna Stewart are joined by Maryland's Alyssa Thomas, Notre Dame's Kayla McBride, and Baylor's Odyssey Sims.
All seven have won internationally for the U.S. at a variety of levels with Stewart having the most experience despite being the youngest player.
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