Texas coach Shaka Smart said it was a “humbling opportunity” to coach USA Basketball’s Under-18 team this summer at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
Smart and assistant coaches Kevin Ollie (UConn) and Mark Turgeon (Maryland) will lead a team that will compete in Chile in July. All three coaches will oversee two training camps and will coach players this summer who will be either going into college as freshmen or going into their senior year of high school.
“I did it as an assistant coach for two years, and it was a phenomenal experience,” Smart said Monday. The Under-18 coaching appointment was first announced last week, but Smart was recruiting in Virginia.
“You’re coaching the best of the best at that age group,” he added, “so it’s really a humbling opportunity to be asked to help coach those guys and help them do something special as a group.”
Make no mistake, this could help the Longhorns in recruiting, as Smart will get expansive time with some of the nation’s best young up-and-comers. Some of the more notable players who have played on this team include Chris Bosh (2002), Carmelo Anthony (2002) and Kyrie Irving (2010).
The first training camp will be held at Colorado Springs, Colo., at the U.S. Olympic training center from June 14-18. The second camp will be in Houston from July 11-15.
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