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April 22, 2015

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Basketball veteran as a player and coach, South Carolina head women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley was today announced as the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team head coach. Staley, who served as head coach for the 2014 USA U18 National Team that captured the FIBA Americas U18 Championship gold and a berth in this summer’s FIBA U19 Worlds, will be assisted on the sideline by collegiate head coaches Kim Barnes Arico (Michigan) and Jeff Walz (Louisville), both of whom were assistants for Staley and the 2014 USA U18 squad. The coaching staff was selected by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.

“The committee felt that Dawn and her staff did an excellent job last summer with the USA U18 National Team and we believe that continuity is extremely important to help achieve our goal of winning the FIBA U19 World Championship,” said Jim Foster (Chattanooga), chair of the USA Women’s Junior National Team Committee. “They are all three outstanding coaches and we know they will represent USA Basketball well on the world stage.”

The 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women is scheduled for July 18-26 in Chekhov, Russia. The USA, five-time defending U19 gold medalists, will open play against Spain on July 18, face China on July 19 and cap preliminary-round play on July 21 against Egypt. The 16-nation field has been drawn into four preliminary groups of four teams each. The 16 teams will be seeded following preliminary play and advance to the knockout phase with the round of 16 on July 22, the quarterfinals are scheduled for July 24, semifinals are on July 25 and the tournament will end with the medal games on July 26.

“I’m always excited about playing a role with USA Basketball, because I just feel like it’s basketball utopia,” said Staley, who first donned a USA Basketball uniform at the 1989 FIBA Junior (U19) World Championship. “Now I get an opportunity to work with younger players who have aspirations of becoming Olympians. I always like to share my experiences growing up in USA Basketball, and sometimes those experiences are disappointing, but if you stick with it, in the long run, you’ll be rewarded in a big way I’m excited about being able to shape young lives in the USA Basketball system.”

Staley joined the USA sideline as a Women’s National Team assistant coach for the USA at the 2008 Olympic Games, the 2006 FIBA World Championship and the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship. More recently she was an assistant for the 2014 USA World Championship Team that captured gold and will assist the USA National Team through the 2016 Olympic Games.

As a USA Basketball head coach and in addition to her 2014 USA U18 National Team success, Staley helped lead the 2010 USA Select Team that trained against the USA Women’s National Team, and she guided the USA to a gold medal and 5-0 record at the 2007 Pan American Games.

Staley was a fixture on USA Basketball teams nearly every year from 1989-2004. A two-time USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year (1994, 2004), Staley was voted by all U.S. team captains in 2004 to carry the United States flag and lead the USA’s delegation into the Athens Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Additionally, Staley was named the MVP at the 1994 Goodwill Games and served on the USA Basketball Executive Committee as an athlete representative.

Having recently concluded her seventh season (2008-09 to present) as head coach at the University of South Carolina, where she led the Gamecocks to their fourth-straight NCAA Tournament and fourth-consecutive season with 25 or more victories, she has compiled a 155-74 (.678) overall record in Columbia. Further, in the past four seasons, her record is a stunning 113-26 (.813).

This past season was her best yet at the helm of the Gamecocks. Staley led South Carolina to a 34-3 record, the 2015 Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament crowns, advanced to the first NCAA Final Four in the program’s history and her team spent 12 weeks in the No. 1 slot in the Associated Press poll. Staley was named the 2015 SEC Coach of the Year, 2015 WBCA Region 3 Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the 2015 Naismith National Coach of the Year award.

Trials to select the 2015 USA U19 World Championship Team will be held May 14-17, 2015, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Invitations to attend trials will be issued to approximately 30 athletes age 19-and-under (born on or after Jan. 1, 1996) in April.

Drawn into Group A for the July 18-20 preliminary round were host Russia (FIBA Europe gold medalist), Argentina (FIBA Americas bronze medalist), the Netherlands (FIBA Europe sixth place) and Japan (FIBA Asia fourth place); Group C consists of Belgium (FIBA Europe fifth place), Canada (FIBA Americas silver medalist), France (FIBA Europe silver medalist) and Mali (FIBA Africa gold medalist); while Group D includes Australia (FIBA Oceania gold medalist), Brazil (FIBA Americas fourth place), Serbia (FIBA Europe fourth place) and South Korea (FIBA Asia bronze medalist).

USA women’s teams are 66-12 in the U19/Junior World Championships, capturing a fifth-consecutive gold in 2013 with a 9-0 record. In all, the USA own a record six gold medals and one bronze medal and have stood on the podium in each of the past seven FIBA U19 World Championships.

Noteable players to represent the U.S. include: Angela Aycock (1993); Alana Beard (2001); Essence Carson (2005); Tamika Catchings (1997); Crystal Langhorne (2005); Erlana Larkins (2005); Jantel Lavender (2007); Lisa Leslie (1989); Rebecca Lobo (1993); Maya Moore (2007); Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2009); Vickie Orr (1985); Courtney Paris (2005); Cappie Pondexter (2001); Katie Smith (1993); Dawn Staley (1989); Breanna Stewart (2011 and 2013); and Diana Taurasi (2001).

In addition to Foster, the 2013-16 USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee includes NCAA appointees Melanie Balcomb (Vanderbilt), Lindsay Gottlieb (California) and Joi Williams (UCF); and athlete representative Kara Lawson Barling, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist and a veteran of nine USA Basketball teams.