Rick Pitino will coach Puerto Rico National Team - Dec 21, 2010
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Rick Pitino will be in the Caribbean next summer, but he won't be relaxing in the sunshine. He'll be sweating in the gym with players he hopes to guide and goad to the 2012 Olympics.
The University of Louisville men's basketball coach will coach Puerto Rico's national team, in a decision announced Monday.
Puerto Rico isn't exactly familiar territory for Pitino, but he's used to taking over teams facing long odds.
I know their backs are against the wall to qualify for the Olympics, and that's probably what attracted me the most, he said. That's when competitive people rise to the occasion. The timing works out perfectly so as not to conflict with our responsibilities to U of L.
He's a (future) Hall of Famer and people like him, but I can tell you that in Puerto Rico they're calling him God' right now, said Art Alvarez, president and CEO of the Miami Tropics, an AAU team.
Pitino will coach Puerto Rico in the 10-team FIBA Americas Championship tournament in Argentina next Aug. 25-Sept. 8. The top two teams will make the London Olympics.
There's great talent on that team, Alvarez said. With the right coaching and the right style of play, he can get those guys to the promised land.
Pitino's early assessment of the Puerto Rican players: They're a lot similar to the way we play. They get up and down the floor quickly.
On Sunday he met in Miami with two Puerto Rico-born NBA guards: Carlos Arroyo of the Heat and J. J. Barea of the Dallas Mavericks.
He kind of got their blessings the guys were excited about it, said Alvarez, who coached Barea in high school and AAU ball.
These guys, playing for the national team is the biggest thing in the country, Pitino said at the news conference. They are very, very passionate about it, and that was a major factor for me.
He wasn't so passionate about the idea when he first heard it from Ralph Willard, his director of basketball operations at U of L.
It started with Joel Katz, a Puerto Rico basketball official who has known Willard since the 1980s, when Katz played at Syracuse and Willard was an assistant coach there. Katz asked Willard to sound out Pitino on the idea.
Pitino initially wondered if he would have the time, but he eventually warmed to the idea and invited team officials to watch the Cardinals practice.
We told them how we would organize things, and it just went from there, he said.
Pitino will receive per diem expense money but no other compensation for coaching the team.
Coach is basically doing it for nothing, Alvarez said in a telephone interview. He's not charging anything. I think it's something in his career that he hasn't accomplished yet. He's been everywhere. He's been in the pro ranks, he's been in college, and I think it's something that he's always wanted to do. It's another challenge.
Pitino plans to bring the Puerto Rican team to Louisville next summer to practice against his U of L team. Then he will take both teams to the Bahamas for a round-robin tournament. (NCAA rules allow teams one foreign trip every four years.)
We're going to be able to play against the national team two, three times and play against NBA-type players, Pitino said. That's going to be great for our incoming freshmen.
Ramon Rivas, a former NBA player and three-time Olympian who's now a broadcaster, described the Puerto Rican team as so athletic and young.
He told ESPN there should be no language barrier between Pitino and the players: I guarantee you that everyone knows English. They all understand English.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, an assistant to Mike Krzyzewski for the U.S. Olympic team, told ESPN that Puerto Rico's players should have no trouble adjusting to Pitino's game.
They've got a lot of good shooters and guys who can dribble, penetrate and kick, Boeheim said. It will be really good for his style.
One candidate for the team might be Ricardo Ledo of South Kent School in Connecticut. Many analysts rate him the top shooting guard in the Class of 2012, and U of L and Kentucky are among his pursuers.
Courtesy of www.courier-journal.com
Nestor Garcia finishes season in Argentina, Venezuela's Senior NT is the next stop - May 3, 2013
Barquisimeto, Venezuela.- Argentinian head coach Nestor Garcia finished up his season in Argentina's LNB, after leading Boca Juniors to the Semifinals and losing in a five-game series against Regatas Corrientes, 3-2. His next stop will be working for Venezuela's Senior NT in the upcoming 2013 FIBA Americas World Cup Qualy Tournament, set to be played in Caracas from August 30th till September 11th [read more]
Barquisimeto, Venezuela.- Argentinian head coach Nestor Garcia finished up his season in Argentina's LNB, after leading Boca Juniors to the Semifinals and losing in a five-game series against Regatas Corrientes, 3-2. His next stop will be working for Venezuela's Senior NT in the upcoming 2013 FIBA Americas World Cup Qualy Tournament, set to be played in Caracas from August 30th till September 11th.
Garcia, a two-time LPB champion in Venezuela with Trotamundos de Carabobo (2006) and Marinos de Anzoategui (2011) and former assistant coach for Julio Lamas in Argentina's Senior NT, won the Gold Medal for Argentina in the 2012 South American Championship as head coach and was recently hired to replace American Eric Musselman as the head coach of Venezuela for 2013 and 2014.
A 27-player list was published several weeks ago by the Venezuelan Basketball Federation and those players are supposed to start training in Caracas on July 1st at the recently built National Basketball Training Center.
Carmelo Cortez, president of the Venezuelan Basketball Federation, traveled to Colorado Springs, United States, to attend a FIBA Americas meeting in which he'll present the evolution of the preparation measures for the organization of the tournament, in which 10 countries will fight for 4 spots for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, to be played in Spain.
Cortez will also visit Miami, Florida to attent meetings that could lead to the possibility of taking the squad to private practices in the city after the third week of July.
Argentina beat Brazil in title game - Sep 12, 2011
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Brazil - Argentina 75-80
Argentina won the Gold in Mar del Plata. The host of FIBA Americas Championship was better than Brazil in the Finals 80-75 to win the first place. Of course, Silver belongs to Brazil. Both teams booked a spot for the Olympic Games 2012 in London. Luis Scola (206-F/C-80) was amazing last night. He scored 32 points and was the MVP of this meeting with valuation 30 [read more]
Brazil - Argentina 75-80 Argentina won the Gold in Mar del Plata. The host of FIBA Americas Championship was better than Brazil in the Finals 80-75 to win the first place. Of course, Silver belongs to Brazil. Both teams booked a spot for the Olympic Games 2012 in London. Luis Scola (206-F/C-80) was amazing last night. He scored 32 points and was the MVP of this meeting with valuation 30. Carlos Delfino (198-G-82) had 16 points and 9 rebounds, while Pablo Prigioni (191-G-77) added 10 points. In the loosing squad, Marquinhos Vieira (207-F-84) responded with 17 points and 5 rebounds. Tiago Splitter (211-C/F-85, agency: Interperformances) and Rafael Hettsheimer (206-C-86) stopped to 12 and 10 points respectively. Each of them grabbed 5 rebs. Quarters: 9-21, 18-14, 21-15, 27-30. Dominican Republic won the Bronze in Mar del Plata. They outplayed Puerto Rico 103-89.
Dominican Republic - Puerto Rico 103-89 Dominicans won the Bronze at FIBA Americas Championship 2011 in Mar del Plata. They outplayed Puerto Rico 103-89 to take third place at this event. Puerto Ricans stay without the medal. Both teams will have a chance to book a spot for the Olympic Games 2012 in London. They will compete in Additional Qualifying Tournament. Alfred Horford (208-F/C-86, college: Florida) paced Dominicans to Bronze yesterday with 23 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists. Jack Michael Martinez (203-F/C-81, agency: Paris Global Sports) had 21 points and 9 rebounds, while Francisco Garcia (201-F/G-81, college: Louisville) added 18 pts. Ronald Ramon (185-G-86, college: Pittsburgh) helped with one less. In Puerto Rico, Daniel Santiago (216-C-76, agency: Priority Sports, college: N.Mexico) collected 25 points and 6 rebounds. Carlos Arroyo (188-G-79, college: FIU) had 24 points and 7 assists, and John Holland (195-G/F-88, college: Boston U.) stopped to 13 pts. Quarters: 27-12, 26-17, 27-39, 23-21. Argentina is the winner of FIBA Americas 2011. They handed 80-75 loss to Brazil in the Finals.
Best Player: Luis Scola (206-F/C-80) of Argentina
Best Guard: Carlos Arroyo (188-G-79) of Puerto Rico
Best Forward: Luis Scola (206-F/C-80) of Argentina
Best Center: Alfred Horford (208-F/C-86) of Dominican Republic
Best Coach: Julio Cesar Lamas of Argentina
G: Carlos Arroyo (188-79) of Puerto Rico
PG: Marcelinho Huertas (191-83) of Brazil
G: Emanuel Ginobili (198-77) of Ar [read more]
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