US basketball team expands coaching staff

Steve Kerr will be part of the US basketball team’s coaching staff during the 2020 Olympics. (AFP pic)

COLORADO SPRINGS: Steve Kerr is joining Gregg Popovich on Team USA.

Kerr was named an assistant coach for USA Basketball and will serve on Popovich’s bench along with Pacers head coach Nate McMillan and Villanova coach Jay Wright.

“This is an incredible opportunity and one I’m extremely grateful for,” Kerr said in a statement. “I had the good fortune to participate in our USA Basketball program as an amateur, and to have the chance to return to the world stage three decades later and work under Pop, one of my former coaches and a mentor, is a tremendous honour.”

The assignment includes the next two summers, spanning the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

“I am honoured and fortunate to have such gifted coaches share this USA Basketball responsibility with me,” said Popovich, a 1970 graduate of the US Air Force Academy. “Steve Kerr, Nate McMillan, and Jay Wright are not just knowledgeable, dedicated individuals, but they exhibit the creativity, tenacity, and respect for the game needed to compete in the international arena.”

“I look forward to joining them as USA Basketball attempts to extend the stellar success they’ve enjoyed over the past 12 years.”

Kerr played for Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs.

Wright worked for Popovich and Team USA during the summer camp in Las Vegas and along with Kerr is considered a potential candidate to take over as head coach upon Popovich’s departure. Wright worked with Popovich in 2016 as an assistant on the USA Basketball select team.

Since 1992, Team USA has taken gold medals in 14 of 17 international competitions.