COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. - Marist women's basketball head coach Brian Giorgis has been selected as an assistant coach of the 2013 USA women's basketball team that will compete in the World University Games this summer. Giorgis joins Penn State head coach Coquese Washington on the staff of head coach Sherri Coale from the University of Oklahoma. The staff was selected by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
"Obviously all three coaches have been successful," said Jim Foster (The Ohio State University), chair of the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee. "Sherri has had international experience, and Coquese has had the opportunity to serve on a committee for USA Basketball. It's a staff where their strengths complement each other."
The trio will lead the U.S. women's basketball team at the 2013 World University Games, which will be played July 8-15 in Kazan, Russia.
"Representing our country via this sport that I love is the ultimate opportunity - an opportunity that I don't take lightly and one that I am humbled to accept," Coale said. "In addition to the experience of coaching some of our country's finest collegiate athletes, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside Brian Giorgis and Coquese Washington. I have great respect for each of these coaches, not only for the programs they have built on their respective campuses, but also for their ambassadorship of our game. I look forward to learning from them and working with them to make this an amazing experience for the student athletes we will lead into international competition."
Organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) and held every other year, the World University Games is a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24 (born Jan. 1, 1989 through Dec. 31, 1995). The U.S. women's basketball team will be comprised of U.S. citizens who are currently enrolled in college and have remaining eligibility.
"I think it is a tremendous honor to be selected as an assistant coach and help lead the USA team in the World University Games," Giorgis said. "I look forward to working tirelessly to help the USA bring back a gold medal."
"It is an extreme honor to serve as a coach for USA Basketball," Washington said. "I have watched USA Basketball since I was a kid, and I have so many fond memories of cheering on the red, white and blue. Now, to be able to represent my country on the basketball court is truly a dream come true."
Coale will enter her first head coaching assignment with USA Basketball, however, she previously helped lead the 2001 Junior World Championship Team to a bronze medal and she served on the 2005-08 USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee. Among her assistant coaches, Giorgis will be new to USA Basketball, while Washington served on the 2009-12 USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee.
Trials to select the 12-member team will take place May 16-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo., and approximately 35 players will be invited to trials by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee. Returning home after trials conclude, the 12-member team, or finalists for the team, will resume training camp at the USOTC on June 25.
Including the USA and host Russia, a total of 16 nations will compete in the 2013 World University Games women's basketball competition, which also will feature teams from Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Mongolia, Poland, Sweden, Taiwan and Ukraine.
USA Basketball women's teams have participated in 16 prior World University Games and collected a record eight gold medals, six silvers and one bronze medal. Further, since 1973, the first year the USA women competed in the WUGs, the United States has compiled a 95-15 record. In 2011 the USA, led by 2012 NCAA National Player of the Year nominees Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins, as well as 2012 WNBA Rookie of the Year Nneka Ogwumike, posted a 6-0 slate en route to the gold medal.
Notable among the list of WUG alumni are 2012 Olympic gold medalists Seimone Augustus, Tina Charles, Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore; as well as Olympians Carol Blazejowski, Ruthie Bolton, Anne Donovan, Pat Head (Summitt), Lisa Leslie, Katrina McClain, Suzie McConnell (Serio), Ann Meyers (Drysdale), DeLisha Milton-Jones, Cappie Pondexter, Ruth Riley, Katie Smith, Dawn Staley, Katy Steding, Tina Thompson and Lynette Woodward.
Chaired by Foster, the 2013-16 USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee includes NCAA appointees Melanie Balcomb (head coach, Vanderbilt University), Lindsay Gottlieb (head coach, University of California) and Joi Williams (head coach, UCF), as well as athlete representative Kara Lawson, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist who has been a part of nine USA Basketball teams.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
USA teams are the current men's and women's champions in the Olympics, men's and women's FIBA World Championships; women's FIBA U19 World Champions; men's and women's FIBA U17 World Champions; and the men's and women's U18 and U16 FIBA Americas champions; as well as winners of the women's FIBA 3X3 World Championship and 3x3 U18 World Championship.