Wainwright to Lead USA Men's U19 Hoops Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - DePaul head coach Jerry Wainwright, who served as an assistant for the 2006 USA U18 National Team, has been called upon to lead the 2007 USA U19 World Championship Team at this summer's FIBA U19 World Championship for Men.

USA Basketball also announced today that collegiate head coaches Bruiser Flint of Drexel University (Pa.) and George Washington University's (D.C.) Karl Hobbs will serve as assistant coaches for the USA U19 National Team. Coaching staff selections were made by the USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee, chaired by USA Senior National Team assistant and Syracuse University head coach Jim Boeheim, and approved by the USA Basketball Executive Committee.

The 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship will be contested July 12-22 in Novi Sad, Serbia. The draw for the tournament was held on Feb. 27, and the United States was placed in Group B for preliminary round action along with China (FIBA Asia gold medalist), Mali (FIBA Africa silver medalist) and host Serbia (FIBA Europe fifth place finisher).

"In all honesty it's a great honor," said Wainwright. "I've been privileged to work with two other programs in USA Basketball. Last summer I had a wonderful experience with our under 18 team working with head coach Lorenzo Romar and assistant Paul Hewitt. It's an incredible privilege to wear your country's name on a uniform. At this point in my career it's certainly a highlight to be a representative of USA Basketball and I hope I can live up to the past coaches and what they've accomplished.

"Bruiser Flint and Karl Hobbs are both obviously beyond being up and coming stars. They're already stars but they're young guys, and I was fortunate enough to know them as players. Their energy level, their commitment to excellence and the fact that they've always had tremendous relationships with their players will help us establish a family atmosphere. They're also two of the most competitive people I've ever met. They're winners and I'm extremely humbled that they're going to be co-coaches alongside me."

"It's a natural progression for Jerry, he was an assistant last summer for our very successful U18 team," said Boeheim. "Some of the players will return and are familiar with him, so it's a natural progression for him to move up and take the reigns. I think he'll do an outstanding job with the team this year. In Bruiser Flint you have a proven head coach who's been involved with USA Basketball teams in the past, has great international experience and is coming off another tremendous coaching year at Drexel. Karl Hobbs is one of the bright young coaches in college basketball. He's had tremendous success at George Washington and has international coaching experience. He brings a lot to the table and will be a tremendous addition to the coaching staff."

The U.S. earned its 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship berth by claiming gold at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. The 2007 USA squad will be comprised of males 19-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1988) who are citizens of the United States.

In addition to the USA's pool, included among the 16 national teams that qualified through their FIBA zone tournaments are Brazil (FIBA Americas bronze medalist), France (FIBA Europe gold medalist), Lebanon (FIBA Asia bronze medalist) and Lithuania (FIBA Europe silver medalist) in Group A; Group C consists of Australia (FIBA Oceania gold medalist), Canada (FIBA Americas fourth place finisher), Nigeria (FIBA Africa gold medalist) and Turkey (FIBA Europe fourth place finisher); while Group D includes Argentina (FIBA Americas silver medalist), Puerto Rico (FIBA Americas fifth place finisher), South Korea (FIBA Asia silver medalist) and Spain (FIBA Europe bronze medalist).

The USA U19 National Team Trials, featuring approximately 35 of the nation's top 19-and-unders, will begin June 28 in Dallas, Texas.

In 13 seasons as a head collegiate coach (1984-85 to present), Wainwright has amassed a career record of 218-173 (.558 winning percentage). This selection marks his third tour with USA Basketball as he also served as a court coach during the 2004 USA Basketball Men's U20 National Team Trials.

"I think we're talking about two different variables added to the mix," said Wainwright. "We had the comfort level last year of playing on our home soil, minimal travel and the food were things we were use to, and that gives you a little bit more relaxed atmosphere. It allows your kids, especially the young kids, to be able to focus on the task at hand, which is winning the tournament. Now you're throwing in the fact that we're not going to be the home team, in every game we're going to be looked at as the team to pull against as far as the crowd is thinking. Because of that we're going to have to be at a different level than we were last summer and especially as it pertains to our mental toughness and our togetherness. The challenge of that, plus the fact that instead of it just being a tournament against the Americas, we're bringing in teams from all over the world that have probably stayed together for at least a year. Whereas our team probably won't be the same that we had last summer. You now have a worldwide event and as we know, on foreign soil, it's going to be a tremendous challenge for our kids. Hopefully we look at that as not only a challenge, but something we really want to be a part of. Hopefully the kids that ultimately try out and make the team will have a great sense of conviction and also believe that they're doing something not only for themselves but for USA Basketball."

Wainwright Receives Commitment

WeAreDePaul.com has learned that Mario Stula, a 6-7, 210 lb. senior shooting guard from Decatur Christian Prep School and originally from Croatia, signed his letter of intent to play for the DePaul Blue Demons on Tuesday.

WeAreDePaul.com subscribers can learn more about Stula in the following premium stories…

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