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USA Basketball names Nelson 2010 Co-Development Coach of the Year

3/8/2011
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USA Basketball names Barbara Nelson, Don Showalter
2010 Co-Developmental Coaches Of The Year

Colorado Springs, Colo.----In recognition of the USA’s outstanding gold-medal performances at the inaugural men’s and women’s FIBA U17 World Championships in 2010, USA Basketball today announced Barbara Nelson, head coach of the USA U17 women and Wingate (N.C.) University and Don Showalter, head mentor for the USA U17 men and Mid-Prairie (Iowa) High School, as the 2010 USA Basketball Co-Developmental Coaches of the Year.

Nelson and Showalter each led USA teams to undefeated performances in 2010, with Nelson capturing the women’s FIBA U17 World Championship title July 16-25 in Toulouse and Rodez, France and Showalter bringing home gold on the men’s side July 2-11 in Hamburg, Germany.

“I am honored to be selected as a Co-Developmental Coach of the Year,” Nelson says. “Working with USA Basketball and all of the young athletes was a wonderful experience; the memories we made were once-in-a-lifetime. This recognition is a tribute to the players and coaches who worked very hard to become a great team. I also want to congratulate coach Showalter and his U17 team for their great accomplishments. USA Basketball had a phenomenal year.”

“When I look at the names of previous winners, it’s a pretty elite group,” Showalter says. “I feel honored and privileged to be recognized alongside Barbara Nelson. To represent USA Basketball and your country in international competition is the highest honor a coach can have, let alone a high school coach. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity.”

USA Basketball’s Development Coach of the Year award was established in 1996 to recognize a USA Basketball head coach who, during the year of the award, made significant impact on the success of individual athlete and team performance at the developmental level. The USA Basketball Board of Directors is responsible for selecting USA Basketball’s annual coach, player and team of the year awards.

“Barbara and Don helped build exemplary teams this past summer and USA Basketball is very proud of its performances in the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championships,” Jim Tooley, USA Basketball Executive Director/CEO, says. “Both coaches inspired their team to play with great skill, commitment and team work, which is obvious from their incredible performances, but they also inspired great sportsmanship.”

While Nelson is a first-time honoree, Showalter is now a two-time recipient having also earned the Developmental Coach of the Year Award in 2009. The pair will see their names among an impressive group of past award winners, including Carol Owens (2008); Doug Bruno (2007, 2006); Joanne P. McCallie (2007); Lorenzo Romar (2006); Kathy Delaney-Smith (2005); Jay Wright (2005); Kelvin Sampson (2004); Jim Foster (2003); Marsha Sharp (2002); Debbie Ryan (2001); Geno Auriemma (2000); Oliver Purnell (1999); Jim Boeheim (1998); Rene Portland (1997); and Mike Montgomery (1996).

Barbara Nelson

Nelson certainly got the best out of her squad on the way to a gold medal and perfect 8-0 record in the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship in France. The USA scored an average of 94.8 points per game and won its eight games by a whopping average of 37.4 points.

“She was a great coach because she has so much passion for the game,” Ariel Massengale (Bolingbrook, Ill.), USA U17 co-captain, says. “As much energy as she put in, behind the scenes and what we saw, that made us all want to go out there and give it all the we had. From day one, she made it about the ‘we’ and not the ‘me.’ She understood we were all great players on our own teams and she helped us learn to play together.”

The red, white and blue dominated the tournament statistics, leading the field in 16 of 21 team statistical categories, including points scored (758), field goal percentage (.497), 3-point field goal percentage (.408), rebounding (53.0 rpg.), assists (18.9 apg.) and blocked shots (7.4 bpg.).

In addition to Massengale, the USA roster included: Jordan Adams (Irvine, Calif.); Cierra Burdick (Matthews, N.C.); Bashaara Graves (Clarksville, Tenn.); Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.); Kaleena Lewis (Anaheim, Calif.); Jewell Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill.); Bria Smith (Massapequa, N.Y.); Imani Stafford (Los Angeles, Calif.); Breanna Stewart (North Syracuse, N.Y.); Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook, Ill.); and Elizabeth Williams (Virginia Beach, Va.).

Nelson was assisted by Mike Armstrong of Perry Meridian (Ind.) High School and Dorena Bingham of Team Alaska AAU.

Prior to the FIBA U17 World Championship for Women, Nelson led the USA to a 2-1 tally and a tournament title in an exhibition round-robin tournament held July 9-11 in Alagon, Spain. In claiming the title, the USA recorded a 93-47 win over Canada, a 64-58 loss to Australia and a 61-50 victory over host Spain.

A basketball coach since 1986, Nelson undertook her second USA coaching assignment in 2010, having also led the USA to a gold medal and a qualifying berth for the 2010 U17 World Championship at the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Women in Mexico City.

At Wingate University (2007-08 to present), Nelson has led the Bulldogs to a 62-35 record. She finished the 2009-10 season with a 14-14 record; two of her players earned All-SAC honors. During her first season, the 20097-08 Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight as champions of the South Atlantic Region. Wingate (26-8 overall) completed the 2007-08 season as the 10th-ranked team in the country. Wingate also won the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference tournament on the way to the Elite Eight.

Prior to joining Wingate, Nelson spent 21 seasons (1986-87 through 2006-07) as the head coach at Providence Day School in Charlotte, N.C., where she compiled a 437-176 overall record (.713 winning percentage) and compiled seven North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association state championships and nine conference titles.