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Louisville head coach Jeff Walz helped guide the USA Basketball Women’s U-18 Team to gold last summer
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (GoCards.com) – University of Louisville women’s basketball head coach Jeff Walz is taking another international trip this summer. The Cardinals’ eighth-year leader was named as an assistant coach on Wednesday for the 2015 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Championship Team.
“I’m really excited to be working with the USA Basketball U-19 team this summer,” said Walz, who is also coaching his second USA Basketball team this year. “I truly enjoyed last year’s opportunity of winning the championship with two excellent coaches and an extremely talented group of young women. It’s always an honor to represent your country, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again at camp and chasing another gold medal.”
South Carolina’s head coach Dawn Staley will serve as the U-19 head coach, with Michigan’s Kim Barnes Arico joining Walz as one of the team’s two assistants.
The 2015 FIBA U-19 World Championship for Women is scheduled for July 18-26 in Chekhov, Russia. The U.S. team, the five-time defending U-19 gold medalists, open play against Spain on July 18, face China on July 19, and cap preliminary-round play on July 21 against Egypt. The 16-nation field has been drawn into four preliminary groups of four teams each. The 16 teams will be seeded following preliminary play and advance to the knockout phase with the round of 16 on July 22. The quarterfinals are scheduled for July 24, semifinals are on July 25, and the tournament will end with the medal games on July 26.
Trials to select the 2015 U.S. U-19 World Championship Team will be held May 14-17 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Invitations to attend trials will be issued to approximately 30 athletes age 19-and-under (born on or after Jan. 1, 1996) in April.
Drawn into Group A for the July 18-20 preliminary round were host Russia (FIBA Europe gold medalist), Argentina (FIBA Americas bronze medalist), the Netherlands (FIBA Europe sixth place) and Japan (FIBA Asia fourth place); Group C consists of Belgium (FIBA Europe fifth place), Canada (FIBA Americas silver medalist), France (FIBA Europe silver medalist) and Mali (FIBA Africa gold medalist); while Group D includes Australia (FIBA Oceania gold medalist), Brazil (FIBA Americas fourth place), Serbia (FIBA Europe fourth place) and South Korea (FIBA Asia bronze medalist).
Having recently completed his eighth year as the Louisville head coach, Walz owns a 208-77 (.730) record with the Cardinals, who twice he has led to the NCAA national championship game.
Walz made an immediate impact on the Louisville program in 2007-08, his first year as a collegiate head coach. That season, Walz directed the Cardinals to a 26-10 mark, the first Sweet 16 in program history, and was named the 2008 WBCA Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year.
Since then, he has advanced the Cardinals as far as three Sweet 16 finishes, one Elite Eight, and finished twice as the national champion runner-up.
Reaching the 20-win mark seven times, including twice earning at least 30 victories, Walz most recently coached Louisville to a 27-7 record and the 2015 Sweet 16. Further, Louisville ended the year ranked No. 8 in the final Associated Press poll, marking the second-consecutive season the program finished in the top 10.
USA women's teams are 66-12 in the U-19/Junior World Championships, capturing a fifth-consecutive gold in 2013 with a 9-0 record. In all, the USA own a record six gold medals and one bronze medal and have stood on the podium in each of the past seven FIBA U19 World Championships.
Noteable players to represent the U.S. include: Angela Aycock (1993); Alana Beard (2001); Essence Carson (2005); Tamika Catchings (1997); Crystal Langhorne (2005); Erlana Larkins (2005); Jantel Lavender (2007); Lisa Leslie (1989); Rebecca Lobo (1993); Maya Moore (2007); Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2009); Vickie Orr (1985); Courtney Paris (2005); Cappie Pondexter (2001); Katie Smith (1993); Dawn Staley (1989); Breanna Stewart (2011 and 2013); and Diana Taurasi (2001).
In addition to Foster, the 2013-16 USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee includes NCAA appointees Melanie Balcomb (Vanderbilt), Lindsay Gottlieb (California) and Joi Williams (UCF); and athlete representative Kara Lawson Barling, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist and a veteran of nine USA Basketball teams.