Staley coach USA squad during busy summer

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 13, 2014 at 5:25 pm •  Published: May 13, 2014
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina coach Dawn Staley's loaded offseason just got even busier.

Already leading the U.S. under-18 team this summer, Staley also was recently named assistant coach for the national team heading to the World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey in late September and early October.

When those games wrap up, she will return to campus and pick up fall workouts that start while she's gone.

"I think I've finally got the schedule straight," Staley said this week.

It all starts later this month when Staley heads to Colorado Springs, Colorado, for a tryout camp, where 28 of the country's best 18-and-under players (including Staley signee and top prospect A'ja Wilson) vie for a spot on the 12-person roster.

The team will reconvene for training camp in Colorado in late July and take part in the FIBA Americas competition that runs from August 6-10. Should the U.S. finish among the top four in the eight-team field, it will qualify for the world under-19 championships next year.

After the August competition, Staley will greet her Gamecock returnees from last year's Southeastern Conference regular season championship team. Then she'll be off again with the national team coached by Connecticut's Geno Auriemma to pick the players who'll chase that FIBA championship.

There's a national selection camp at the U.S. Naval Academy in mid-September before an as yet to be finalized training camp. The defending world champions begin play against China on Sept. 27.

Staley was surprised and honored a couple of weeks back when Auriemma talked to her about joining the staff. She's had a long history with USA Basketball, a fierce point guard helping the national team to Olympic gold in 1996, 2000 and 2004.

In Athens, Staley was honored as the United States' flag bearer for the opening ceremonies, a memory she cherishes as much as any accomplishment of her hall of fame career as a player and coach.

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