Pelicans' Monty Williams to coach US Olympic squad
WWL Hornets Radio Reporting
New Orleans Pelicans Head Coach Monty Williams was named as one of three USA Basketball Men’s National Team assistant coaches for 2013-16.
USA Basketball announced on May 23 that Duke University’s Naismith Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski, who directed the USA National Teams from 2006-2012 to a 62-1 overall record and back-to-back Olympic championships, would return to lead the USA National Team program for a third time.
Having previously represented USA Basketball as a player, this is Williams' first coaching assignment with USA Basketball.
“I want to thank Mr. Colangelo for his confidence in me and I am truly honored and looking forward to working on Coach K’s staff,” said Williams. “For me to be involved as an assistant coach for USA Basketball where I can represent my country is a privilege and the ultimate honor. I was fortunate back in the early 90’s to be on the USA 22-and-under roster where we won the gold medal in Spain. and I felt a tremendous amount of pride. With this honor, I feel the same sense of pride again for my country, but I also want to make the Benson’s, Pelican organization, New Orleans community and my family proud.”
On June 7, 2010, Williams was appointed head coach of the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans), and 2013-13 saw him complete his third year as the franchise's head mentor.
Williams’ began his first stint as a head coach with a successful season in 2010-11, leading the Hornets to a 46-36 record and the seventh seed in the 2011 NBA playoffs. In post-season play, the Hornets pushed former NBA-champion Lakers to six games and Williams placed seventh in Coach of the Year voting, after being named the NBA’s Western Conference Coach of the Month for January of 2011.
In his sophomore campaign, Williams managed 22 different players and 26 different starting lineups through an injury-plagued season where six players missed upwards of 15 games due to injury or illness. Through it all, Williams’ squad increased its wins in every month from January to April, and closed out the regular season with a 6-1 stretch at the New Orleans Arena.
In 2013-13, No. 1 draft pick and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Anthony Davis made his debut with New Orleans. Under Williams, Davis averaged 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocked shots and 1.2 steals a game and became just the fifth rookie in NBA history to record averages of at least 13.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 1.0 steals and 1.0 assists per game. Davis, who was runner-up for NBA Rookie of the Year honors, also became the youngest player in the history of the NBA to record those statistical averages in a season.
Williams spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach for the Portland Trail Blazers. At the date of his hiring, Williams became the youngest head coach in the NBA at 38 years old.
Williams is one of the promising young coaches in the NBA. Trail Blazers Head Coach Nate McMillan charged Williams with running the team’s 2007 and 2008 entries into the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. The two teams featured young Trail Blazers prospects Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Jerryd Bayless and Nicolas Batum.
Prior to joining the Trail Blazers, he won an NBA Championship as a coaching staff intern with the San Antonio Spurs in 2004-05, and, during the summer of 2005, coached the Spurs’ Summer League entry in the Rocky Mountain Revue.
Selected by New York in the first round (24th overall) of the 1994 NBA Draft, Williams was a nine-year veteran of the NBA before chronic knee problems forced him into retirement in 2003. Hailing from Notre Dame, Williams played for New York, San Antonio, Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia. His best season was with the Spurs in 1996-97, when he averaged 9.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 65 games and shot 50.9 percent from the field. In 456 career games, he averaged 6.3 points per game.
He was an honorable mention All-American at Notre Dame after averaging 22.4 points and 8.4 rebounds during his senior season. Williams was away from basketball for two years during college (from 1990 to 1992) after being diagnosed with hypertropic cardiomyopathy, a rare condition of thickened muscle between the chambers of the heart. He earned a degree from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, majoring in communications and theatre. In high school, he was a 4.0 student at Potomac in Oxon Hill, Md.
Williams played on a pair of USA Basketball teams. Selected as a member of the 1993 USA 22 & Under World Championship Qualifying Team, he averaged 5.5 ppg. and assisted the U.S. to a 6-1 record, the silver medal, and a qualifying berth for the FIBA 22 & Under World Championship. At the 1993 FIBA 22 & Under World Championship he averaged 5.8 points and 3.5 rebounds a game as the U.S. finished a perfect 8-0 record to win the gold medal.
Active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and many other charities, he was involved with fellow NBA guard Charlie Ward in distributing shoes and athletic equipment to impoverished communities in South Africa. In September of 2011, Williams went to South Africa as part of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program. Since moving to New Orleans, Williams has been active in the community, focusing his time on prison ministry, spending time with senior citizens and disadvantaged youth, as well as military families. He and his wife, Ingrid, are the parents of five children – Lael, Faith, Janna, Elijah and Micah.
The USA Men’s National Team begins its 2013 training with a July 22-25 mini-camp in Las Vegas that concludes with the 2013 USA Basketball Showcase, featuring a Blue-White intra-squad game, on July 25 at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center. The mini-camp will feature rising NBA stars, newly minted All-Stars, and members of the 2012