Courtesy of K-State Athletics
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber has been selected as the head coach for USA Basketball’s U19 World Cup Team that will compete at the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) U19 World Cup in Heraklion, Greece, June 29 to July 7.
“It’s an honor to represent Team USA at such a prestigious event like the World Cup,” said Weber. “I have had a long association with USA Basketball as a committee member, court coach and as an assistant to Coach (Gene) Keady for several championships. I appreciate the organization’s Board of Directors for giving me this special opportunity to coach some of our country’s best players on the world stage. I look forward to getting to work with the players and the rest of the staff and representing our country in Greece.”
The U19 World Cup, which is held every two years, dates to 1979 as the FIBA Junior World Championship and features the world’s top 19-year-old and younger players. Team USA earned a qualifying spot for the U19 World Cup by capturing gold at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship with a 6-0 record.
Training camp to select the 12-member team will be held June 15-18 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Finalists for the team are expected to be announced on June 18, and the roster will be announced prior to the team’s departure for Greece on June 24. Team USA has been placed in Group A at the World Cup with Lithuania, New Zealand and Senegal.
Team USA has won six gold medals, three silver medals and one bronze medal in the 13 U19 competitions since 1979, including gold in three of the past five U19 World Cups (2009, 2013 and 2015).
In addition, Weber has tabbed current graduate manager Shane Southwell as the video coordinator for the U19 World Cup. A four-year letterman who guided the Wildcats to 92 wins from 2010-14, Southwell just completed his second year on the K-State coaching staff after playing professionally in Mexico, Australia and Switzerland.
Weber and Southwell will be joined on the U19 World Cup by Washington head coach Mike Hopkins and North Carolina Central head coach LeVelle Moton, who will serve as assistant coaches.
“I want to thank my family, the K-State administration and our coaching staff for allowing me to realize this opportunity with Team USA,” said Weber. “Due to the length of this commitment, it was important to me to get their blessing to accept this role with USA Basketball.”
Weber has been actively involved in USA Basketball for close to two decades. He served as a court coach at the trials for the 1991 Pan American Games Team and spent time with the 1989 USA Men’s World University Games and 1985 R. Williams Jones Cup Team that were led K-State alum and former Purdue head coach Gene Keady. Weber most recently served on USA Basketball’s Men’s Junior National Committee, which selects coaches and players for its college-aged competitions.
Hired on March 31, 2012 as the school’s 24th head coach, Weber has guided K-State to a 150-89 (.628) overall record, five NCAA Tournament appearances (2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019) and two Big 12 regular-season championships (2013, 2019) in his seven seasons at the helm. He has helped the Wildcats to consecutive 25-win campaigns the past two seasons for the first time in school history, which includes a trip to the Elite Eight in 2017-18 and a share of the Big 12 regular-season title in 2018-19. K-State is one of just 24 schools nationally, including 15 in power conferences, to win at least 25 games in each of the last two seasons.
Weber’s 150 wins are the third-most by a head coach (joining Hall of Famers Jack Hartman and Tex Winter) in school history and the most since Hartman retired as the school’s all-time winningest coach in 1986. He is the fourth head coach to take K-State to at least five NCAA Tournaments (2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019) in a tenure, while only Hartman (with seven) has more 20-win seasons.
The Wildcats have also excelled off the court under Weber’s guidance, as all 23 student-athletes to finish their eligibility are on track or have earned their degrees since he became head coach in 2012. He has coached 20 Academic All-Big 12 recipients, including four in 2018-19, while student-athletes have made a combined 96 appearances on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll in his tenure.