Jeff Capel Will Serve as FIBA U18 Head Coach

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. - OU head coach Jeff Capel has been selected to lead the 2010 USA Men's U18 National Team, USA Basketball announced today. The FIBA Americas U18 Championship, from which the top four finishing teams advance to next summer's FIBA U19 World Championship, will take place June 26-30 at the Bill Greehey Arena on the campus of St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas.

Collegiate head coaches Paul Hewitt of Georgia Tech and Reggie Witherspoon of the University at Buffalo will serve as Capel's assistant coaches at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. The coaching staff was selected by the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.

Capel enters his first USA head coaching assignment having previously served as an assistant coach for the gold-medal-winning 2005 USA World University Games Team.

"It's a tremendous honor, first and foremost," Capel said. "Anytime you can be associated with representing your country is an honor. I took so much pride in working with and for Jay Wright when we won the gold medal at the World University Games. Jay was our head coach and I was one of the assistants. That was an incredible experience for me. To now have an opportunity to be a head coach and have the opportunity to coach these talented young guys, just to be a part of the USA Basketball family is a big-time honor for me."

Capel's assistants also have prior USA Basketball experience as this marks Hewitt's second stint as an assistant coach for a USA U18 National Team. He previously aided the 2006 U18 squad to a 4-0 record and gold medal. Witherspoon's first assignment came as a court coach at the 2006 USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team Trials.

"Obviously coach Hewitt brings international experience," Capel said. "He's coached this team before, so he'll be a great asset to me as a coach. He's a really good coach. He's been a really good coach at Siena and has done a really good job at Georgia Tech, so his experience will really help this team. The same thing with Reggie, he's done a heck of a job up at the University at Buffalo and has a really good basketball mind.

"I look forward to not just working with them, but also learning from them. That's one of the great things about an opportunity like this. When I was with the World University Games Team it was Jay Wright, Bobby Gonzalez and me and we were bouncing different ideas off each other. The court coaches that year were Billy Gillispie and Karl Hobbs. It was just a tremendous opportunity to be around the game, to talk and pick each other's brain, and to learn and grow as a coach."

The 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean, and only athletes born on or after Jan. 1, 1992, are eligible.

Teams in addition to the United States that will participate in the 2010 U18 tournament include: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Preliminary round play will be held June 26-28, semifinals will be contested June 29 and the gold and bronze medal games, as well as the fifth/sixth place and seventh/eighth place games, will be conducted June 30.

The USA opens preliminary play against the U.S. Virgin Islands June 26, followed by Mexico June 27 and Argentina June 28. All of the USA's preliminary round games are scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m. CDT.

USA Basketball plans call for selection of the 12-member USA U18 Team to be made during team training that will be held June 14-25 in San Antonio.

Among the players accepting invitations to the training camp is OU signee and incoming freshman guard T.J. Taylor of Dennison, Texas.

FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men

Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifier, the tournament has been held since 1990. USA men's teams boast of a sensational 33-2 overall record in the U18 championships and have won gold in 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2006, while capturing a silver medal in 2008 and the bronze in 2002.

Some of the top players who have represented the United States in the past U18 tournaments include Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1994); Carmelo Anthony (2002); Michael Beasley (2006); Chris Bosh (2002); Dee Brown (2002); Nick Collison (1998); Jonny Flynn (2006); Spencer Hawes (2006); Grant Hill (1990); Allan Houston (1990); Andre Iguodala (2002); Stephon Marbury (1994); Mike Miller (1998); Quentin Richardson (1998); Kyle Singler (2006); Kemba Walker (2008); and Deron Williams (2002).

Notable members of foreign national teams who have competed in the U18 Championship include Leandro Barbosa (Brazil) 1994; Jose Barea (Puerto Rico) 2002; Gregory Echenique (Venezuela) 2008; Juan Fernandez (Argentina) 2008; Todd MacCulloch (Canada) 1994; Jamal Magloire (Canada) 1994; Peter Ramos (Puerto Rico) 2002; Luis Scola (Argentina) 1998; Tiago Splitter (Brazil) 2002; and Jesse Young (Canada) 1998.

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