Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller begins USA Basketball coaching trek


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Arizona coach Sean Miller is taking the first step with USA Basketball to possibly someday represent the country at a higher level as a coach.

This morning it was announced the Miller will join Billy Donovan’s U18 National Team staff. Providence coach Ed Cooley will also be part of Donovan’s staff this summer.

Miller, 45, served as a court coach at the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team training camp, and he won a gold medal while playing for USA Basketball at the 1991 World University Games.

“I had a tremendous experience representing my country in 1991 as player on the USA World University Games team, and I couldn’t be more excited for a chance to once again be part of USA Basketball,” Miller said in a USA Basketball press release. “Our program here at Arizona has a long and successful relationship with USA Basketball and I’m honored to add to that legacy.

“Billy Donovan and Ed Cooley are both great people, as well as great basketball coaches. I’m excited for the opportunity to work with them closely as we prepare the 2014 USA Men’s U18 National Team to live up to the high standards that previous USA Basketball teams have established.”

Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson has the distinction of being the last coach to lead a U.S. amateur basketball team to an international gold medal at the highest level. He coached the U.S. to the 1986 FIBA World Championship title. The team included former Wildcat forward Sean Elliott and guard Steve Kerr.

Olson’s team, which also featured David Robinson and “Muggsy” Bogues, defeated the Soviet Union 87-85 in the gold medal game, the first time the U.S. had won the world championship in 32 years.

Joining Florida coach Billy Donovan this summer with the U.S. Under 18 National Team will be Providence's Ed Cooley (middle) and Arizona's Sean Miller (USA Basketball photo)

Joining Florida coach Billy Donovan this summer with the U.S. Under 18 National Team will be Providence’s Ed Cooley (middle) and Arizona’s Sean Miller (USA Basketball photo)

Former Arizona standouts Richard Jefferson and Andre Iguodala have competed for the U.S. in the Olympics.

Arizona freshman forward Aaron Gordon was the FIBA Under-19 World Championships MVP last summer. He was selected the 2013 USA Basketball Male Player of the Year.

The location and dates for the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship are still to be announced. The competition will feature a U18 national team from eight countries in the FIBA Americas zone, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and the USA. The top four finishing teams will qualify for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship.

USA Basketball will conduct a training camp June 10-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., which will be used to determine the 12-player roster. Players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1996.

Potentially joining Miller in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship will be Class of 2014 five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American wing player Stanley Johnson of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Arizona’s freshman standouts, will not participate because they were both born in 1995.

The 1986 World Championships between the U.S., coached by Lute Olson, against the U.S.S.R. …

The roster: Tommy Amaker, Muggsy Bogues, Sean Elliott, Armen Gilliam, Tom Hammonds, Steve Kerr, Derrick McKey, David Robinson, Rony Seikaly, Brian Shaw, Charles Smith and Kenny Smith.

WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report, Lindy’s College Sports and TucsonCitizen.com.



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