Kerr, Wright will be US as­sis­tant coaches

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - PAGE 2 -

Steve Kerr and Jay Wright will be as­sis­tant coaches for the U.S. na­tional bas­ket­ball team, putting the coaches of the NBA and NCAA cham­pi­onship teams on Gregg Popovich’s staff.

Nate McMil­lan will be the other as­sis­tant, USA Bas­ket­ball an­nounced Thurs­day.

The trio of coaches will work with Popovich in the 2019 Bas­ket­ball World Cup and 2020 Olympics, as­sum­ing the Amer­i­cans qual­ify for both events.

Kerr has led Golden State to two straight and three of the last four NBA cham­pi­onships. Wright guided Vil­lanova to the 2016 and 2018 NCAA ti­tles. McMil­lan worked on Mike Krzyzewski’s staff from 2006-12, when the Amer­i­cans won two Olympic gold medals and the 2010 world cham­pi­onship.

USA Bas­ket­ball manag­ing di­rec­tor Jerry Colan­gelo says the Amer­i­cans have as­sem­bled “an in­cred­i­ble coach­ing staff.”

The de­fend­ing cham­pion Amer­i­cans are clos­ing in on qual­i­fy­ing for the 2019 worlds in China, which will serve as a qual­i­fier for the 2020 Olympics.

Kerr played for the U.S. in the 1986 world cham­pi­onships, the last gold medal won by a U.S. se­nior men’s team com­posed strictly of am­a­teurs. He won two of his five NBA ti­tles play­ing for Popovich in San An­to­nio. They have re­mained close and are among the NBA’s most out­spo­ken coaches.

“I had the good for­tune to par­tic­i­pate in our USA Bas­ket­ball pro­gram as an ama­teur and to have the chance to re­turn to the world stage three decades later and work un­der Pop, one of my former coaches and a men­tor, is a tremen­dous honor,” Kerr said.

Wright has worked with mul­ti­ple USA Bas­ket­ball teams, in­clud­ing as an as­sis­tant to Popovich in 2016 with the select team of play­ers that trained with the Olympic team that won gold in Rio.

McMil­lan led the In­di­ana Pac­ers to the play­offs last sea­son. He was part of Krzyzewski’s staff that in­cluded Mike D’An­toni and Jim Boe­heim. “My pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence I fig­ured to be a once-in-al­ife­time ex­pe­ri­ence, and now I’ve been blessed again,” McMil­lan said.

Ethan Miller / Getty Im­ages

Steve Kerr will join the staff for the U.S. na­tional bas­ket­ball team as an as­sis­tant coach.

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