COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - LSU women's basketball head coach Nikki Caldwell will once again represent the red, white, and blue as she has been selected to serve as an assistant coach for the 2013 USA Basketball U19 World Championship team that will compete in Lithuania this summer, it was announced by USA Basketball on Tuesday.
Caldwell will reunite with head coach Katie Meyer of Miami and Gonzaga's Kelly Graves. The three of them led the Americans to a gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship last summer. All three were elected by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
"I am deeply humbled and honored to have the opportunity to coach the FIBA U19 World Championship team," said Caldwell. "Not only will I work along the side of great coaches, but I look forward to working with talented and skilled players. I am thrilled to represent the United States at this elite level of basketball. It was such a rewarding experience last summer."
The USA U19 squad will compete in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, hosted by Lithuania from July 18-28 in Klaipeda and Panevė˛ys. Trials to select the 12-member USA squad will be held May 16-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The team will regroup for training on July 1 at the USOTC prior to traveling to Lithuania for the competition. The USA U19 team will be going for a fifth straight gold medal.
"This coaching staff did a remarkable job last summer with the USA U18 National Team, optimizing the skills and contribution of each player," said Sue Donohoe, executive director of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and chair of the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee. "They built a cohesive team on the sideline, which resulted in a great melding of talent on the court. With only nine healthy players available for the gold medal game and an early double-digit deficit, Katie Meier, Nikki Caldwell and Kelly Graves showed confidence that their team would fight back for the win, and it did. USA Basketball brings back three extremely talented coaches, who collectively built foundations of cohesiveness and teamwork last summer."
Caldwell and the Americans went 5-0 and beat Brazil to win the 2012 FIBA Americas Championship in Puerto Rico. She will become the first LSU coach to serve on a USA U19 staff.