The news leaked out weeks ago, but today, USA Basketball officially named John Calipari the head coach of the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team, which will compete in the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship July 1-9 in Cairo. For the first time, Calipari was able to speak publicly about his new role, which those around him know he’s coveted for years.
“Being a part of USA Basketball is special,” Calipari said in a release. “What Jerry Colangelo has done, along with Jim Tooley and Sean Ford, to not only build the national team but also build a winning culture with all the teams, has been incredible to watch. This gives me an opportunity to give back to the game that has been so good to my family and me as well as a game that I love. It is an honor to be asked to coach.”
Calipari will oversee the direction of the team, starting with training camp, June 18-25, at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There, Calipari and his staff will select the 12-member USA U19 World Cup Team before heading to Egypt for the biennial FIBA World Championship, July 1-9. Several future and current Kentucky players are expected to participate, including Hamidou Diallo, Quade Green, PJ Washington, Jarred Vanderbilt, and anyone else Calipari wants to bring along. Colorado head coach Tad Boyle and Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning will serve as assistants. Calipari was an assistant at Kansas (1983-85) during parts of the careers of Boyle and Manning.
Great move for Cal, and great move for Kentucky basketball, which will get a crucial head start with the core an especially young squad this summer. And, oh yeah, recruiting.