Byrd Added to USA Pan American Staff
USA Basketball announced on July 27 that the 2011 USA Menís Pan American Games Team roster would be comprised of coaches and players from the NBA Development League. Tulsa 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts will serve as the USAís head coach and 66ers assistant coach Dale Osbourne was named an assistant coach.
The coaching staff selections were made by the USA Basketball Menís 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 Menís National Team Director Sean Ford, is charged with the coach and player selections for the 2011 USA Pan American Games squad.
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 menís 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, a, 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. The game schedule is TBA.
Training camp for the 2011 USA Basketball Menís Pan American Games Team will held Oct. 14-22 at the Tulsa Convention Center. The 12-member USA Menís 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.
In addition to Ford, the 2011 USA Basketball Menís 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.
ďIt is a privilege to be chosen to represent the Tulsa 66ers and Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2011 Pan American Games alongside Coach Nate Tibbetts and Dale Osbourne,Ē said Byrd. ďWe are looking forward to getting started and assembling a team that everyone will be proud of.Ē
Byrd concluded in 2010-11 his first season as video coordinator for the Tulsa 66ers after serving as the teamís basketball operations assistant during the 2009-10 season.
Prior to his arrival in Tulsa, Byrd served as the Director of Basketball Operations for the University of Houston womenís basketball program from 2006-08, and began his coaching experience at the University of Sioux Falls as a student assistant coach for the womenís basketball team during the 2005-06 season.
A four year starter for the S.P. Waltrip High School (Houston, Texas) varsity basketball team, Byrd attended Richland Community College (Texas) for two years and was a member of the 2001-02 team that finished third in the NJCAA national championship and was captain of the 2002-03 Richland team that placed fifth in the NJCAA championship.
Byrd went on to play two seasons for the University of Sioux Falls, where in 2003-04 he helped lead the team to a 26-12 record and its first NAIA Final Four appearance in school history. Assisting at Sioux Falls that season was Tibbetts, the current Tulsa 66ers and 2011 USA Pan American Games head coach. Playing and starting 13 games after becoming eligible mid-season, Byrd averaged 10.9 ppg., 2.7 rpg., 6.1 apg. and 1.4 spg. The following season, 2004-05, he was named GPAC All-Conference second team after leading the conference in assists. In 31 games for the Cougars, he recorded 14.0 ppg., 3.7 rpg., 4.1 apg., and made a team high 41 3-pointers as the team finished with a 20-11 record.