April 1, 2010
By Andrew Gavin
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF head coach Joi Williams has been selected as an assistant coach for the 2010 USA U18 National Team this summer at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, USA Basketball announced on Thursday.
Hartford head coach Jennifer Rizzotti will serve as the team's head coach while Florida State's Sue Semrau will join Williams as an assistant for the team. The 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship will be held June 23-27 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Spring, Colo.
"Coaching with USA Basketball has been a long-time dream of mine," said Williams. "I am extremely humbled and honored to have been given this opportunity. I will do my very best to represent USA Basketball and UCF in a first class manner."
Williams recently completed her third season as the head coach of UCF. Her 2009-10 squad finished the season at 11-16 and reached the quarterfinals of the Conference USA tournament before falling 63-62 to top-seeded Tulane.
In just her second season at the helm of the Knights' program in 2008-09, Williams guided the team to a remarkable worst to first turnaround, culminating with a victory over Southern Miss to claim the 2009 C-USA tournament title and advancing to the NCAA Tournament. It was the program's first tourney title since joining C-USA and first berth in the NCAA Tournament since 1999. Williams was recognized for the season when she voted the 2009 C-USA Coach of the Year.
USA Basketball will conduct trials for the 2010 USA U18 Women's National Team June 8-11 at the USOTC, with approximately 30 U.S. hopefuls participating. Only athletes 18 years or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1992) are eligible. Following selection of the 2010 USA U18 National Team, which is expected to be announced on June 11, the Americans will continue to train at the USOTC until the start of the tournament on June 23.
On March 12, FIBA Americas conducted the draw for the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, and the defending champion and host nation United States was drawn into Group B with Argentina, Brazil and Puerto Rico; while Group A will consist of Canada, Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico.
The USA will open preliminary round play June 23 in a 7:45 p.m. EST game against Argentina. The USA then meets Brazil at 7:45 p.m. the following day, and will close out preliminary play versus Puerto Rico on June 25 in a 7:45 p.m. game.
The top two finishing teams in each preliminary round group will advance to the June 26 medal round semifinals. Teams placing third and fourth in each preliminary round group will advance to the June 26 consolation semifinals. The FIBA Americas U18 Championship finals will be held Sunday, June 27. The top four finishing squads will earn qualifying berths for the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women.
Selection of the USA U18 Team will be made by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee. In addition to Donohoe, the committee includes Joanne Boyle (University of California head coach), Coquese Washington (Penn State University head coach), Connie Yori (University of Nebraska head coach), and athlete representative Beth Cunningham (1999 USA Pan American Games Team member).
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