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Tulsa 66ers Head Coach Nate Tibbetts To Lead 2011 USA Men’s Pan American Games Team
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 27, 201) --With the 2011 Pan American Games less than three months off, USA Basketball and the NBA Development League today announced plans that call for the USA Men’s Pan American Games Team roster to be comprised of coaches and players from the NBA Development League. USA Basketball also announced that Tulsa 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts has been selected to serve as the USA’s head coach and that 66ers assistant coach Dale Osbourne will fill one of the team’s two assistant coach positions. One additional assistant coach and the players who will contend for roster positions will be announced at a later date.
The coaching selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s Pan American Games Committee, approved by USA Basketball's Board of Directors and are subject to final approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee Chief Executive Officer. The Pan American Games Committee, chaired by USA Basketball Men’s National Team Director Sean Ford, is charged with the coach and player selections for the 2011 USA Pan American Games squad.
“USA Basketball is excited to join forces with the NBA Development League to field the 2011 USA Pan American Games Men’s basketball team,” stated Ford. “Nate is one of the best coaches in the NBA D-League, he will bring great leadership and experience to the team. The fact that Nate and Dale already have a successful working relationship is a real benefit.”
“We’re excited about the opportunity for players and coaches from the NBA Development League to represent their country on an international stage,” said NBA D-League President Dan Reed. “This is another testament to the world-class basketball talent we're attracting and promoting to the NBA, and we're very pleased to partner with USA Basketball to go for the gold!”
The Pan American Games, held every four years in the year prior to the Olympics, are being held Oct. 13-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The men’s basketball competition, which features eight teams, is being conducted Oct. 26-30.
The USA men were drawn into Group B for the Pan American Games and are joined by national teams from Brazil, Dominican Republic and Uruguay. Competing in Group A are Argentina, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The men's basketball preliminary round play is scheduled for Oct. 26-28, semifinals action will be played Oct. 29, and the finals will be contested on Oct. 30.
Training camp for the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s Pan American Games Team will held Oct. 14-22 at a site TBA. The 12-member USA Men’s Pan American Games Team will be announced before the team departs for the competition in Mexico on Oct. 23. The list of athletes participating in the USA Team training camp will be announced at a later date.
USA Basketball also announced that two players from the 2011 USA Pan American Team will be selected to be part of USA Basketball’s 2012 USA Select Team that will train against the U.S. National Team when it trains in the summer of 2012 for the ‘12 London Olympic Games.
In addition to Ford, the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s Pan American Games Committee is comprised of Tibbetts, 2000 Olympic gold medalist Steve Smith, NBA Development League Vice President of Basketball Operations & Player Personnel Chris Alpert, and NBA Development League consultant Gordon Chiesa.
Tibbetts has led Tulsa to consecutive trips to the NBA Development League playoffs. In 2011, Tibbett’s 66ers team set a club record with 33 regular-season wins, which resulted in a No. 4 seed in the playoffs and Tulsa advanced to the semifinals. Between Dec. 30 and Jan. 29, the 66ers reeled off 14 consecutive victories. Additionally, Tibbetts saw three of his players earn four total Gatorade Call-Ups during the season, the most ever in a season.
For his success, Tibbetts was selected to lead the West team in the 2011 D-League All-Star Game. Tibbetts’ 2011 Tulsa team specialized in defense, ranking second in the league in points allowed per game (98.8), third in turnovers forced (18.1) and fourth in steals (9.04).
In his first season at the helm of Tulsa, Tibbetts guided the 66ers to their first ever playoff berth, leading them all the way to the finals. Tulsa’s 27-23 record was a 12-win improvement from the previous season, and at the time, a franchise record for wins.
Prior to Tulsa, Tibbetts spent four seasons (2005-06 through 2008-09) with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, two as an assistant before being promoted to head coach prior to the 2007-08 season. In his two years at the helm of the Skyforce, Tibbetts guided Sioux Falls to a 53-47 record and a playoff berth. The seasoned coach also boasts of four years as an assistant coach at the University of Sioux Falls. In his four seasons, the Cougars posted a record of 92-44, earning two trips to the NAIA Division II National Tournament.
As a student-athlete at the University of South Dakota, Tibbetts enjoyed a successful playing career. He ranked second all-time at USD in career assists (678) and steals (215), and was named to the All-North Central Conference (NCC) team in 2000-01.
Osbourne will assist Tibbetts and owns more than 20 years of coaching experience that includes stints in the USBL, CBA, WNBA and D-League. Tibbetts and Osbourne are familiar with each other’s coaching styles. After all, they’ve been working together with the NBA D-League’s Tulsa 66ers for the past two seasons.
Prior to his two seasons in Tulsa, Osbourne spent a total of three seasons with the Austin Toros and Utah Flash. From 2004-06 Osbourne was head coach of the United States Basketball League (USBL) Dodge City Legend, and also served as the team's general manager in 2005-06. He led Dodge City to consecutive regular season and division championships in 2004 and 2005, and was named the 2004 USBL Coach of the Year. The Legend won the USBL championship in 2004-05 and again reached the finals the next season.
In seven years as an assistant at the University of South Alabama, Osbourne helped guide his alma mater to a pair of Sun Belt Conference titles.
Pan American Games Team
Event: 2011 Pan American Games
USA Men In The Pan American Games
Held since 1951, the USA dominated the first five Pan Am Games, earning five consecutive golds. At the 1971 Pan Ams, despite a record of 2-1 in the preliminary round, the USA did not advance to the medal round and for the first time in Pan American history did not win the gold medal. However, the United States rebounded for a 26-0 record over the next three Pan Am Games and captured its last Pan Am gold in 1983. The gold medal has eluded U.S. teams the past six Pan American Games as the Americans have earned three silvers and a bronze medal.
Many USA Basketball athletes who have been selected to a Pan American Games team have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games, while many others enjoyed stellar professional careers. In all, 34 Pan Am athletes have been a member of a U.S. Olympic squad, including Ernie Grunfeld, Grant Hill, Luscious Jackson, Michael Jordan, Christian Laettner, Danny Manning, Chris Mullin, Emeka Okafor, Sam Perkins, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Isiah Thomas, Jerry West and Jo Jo White.
While the list of former Pan American Games players is impressive, the list of head coaches is even more striking. The list of head coaches of USA Pan American Games teams includes Jay Wright (2007), Tom Izzo (2003), Mo McHone (1999); Mike Thibault (1995); Gene Keady (1991); Denny Crum (1987); Jack Hartman (1983); Bob Knight (1979); Marv Harshman (1975); Jim Gudger (1971) Hal Fischer (1967); Garland Pinholster (1963); Fred Schaus (1959); Lt. Norman Pilgrim (1955); and Hal Fischer and John Longfellow (1951).
Since 2008, USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams have compiled a sterling 113-4 win-loss record in FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions of the Olympics and the FIBA World Championships; FIBA women’s U19 world champions; the men’s and women’s title holders for the FIBA U17 World Championships; and the men’s and women’s U18 and U16 FIBA Americas champions. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.
For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official Web site of USA Basketball at www.usabasketball.com and connect with us on facebook.com/usabasketball, twitter.com/usabasketball and www.youtube.com/therealusabasketball.
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