University of Louisville women’s head basketball coach, Jeff Walz, was named an assistant coach for the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team. Walz will get to be an assistant with head coach Dawn Staley, a three-time Olympic gold medalist and current South Carolina head coach. Michigan’s Kim Barnes-Arico will also join them as an assistant.
The dates and sites have yet to be determined for the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship but will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean.
Walz told reporters,
“I am honored to have been selected to represent USA basketball as an assistant coach for the U18 Women’s National Team. Since beginning in this profession, the realization of this endeavor has been a life-long ambition. I am thrilled to be among some of the greatest collegiate coaches and hope to contribute both on and off the court. I appreciate USA Basketball for recognizing my passion and will work diligently to help mentor and coach some of the most talented young women in the game.”
Walz’s Cardinals are one of the hottest and best all around teams in women’s basketball as they currently sit at 27-2 (15-1 AAC) with a No.3 national ranking. Walz has hardly been a one-year-wonder though and has led the Cardinals to two national runners up and a remarkable 175-67 (.723) record while at the helm. His team was arguably cheated out of an ESPY award last year for their monumental upset over Baylor.
The women head to Cincinnati Saturday for a 2:00 PM EST tip off against conference foe, Cincinnati (12-15, 5-11). The men pulled off an exciting win last Saturday against the Bearcats but the ladies shouldn’t have as close of a contest, as Cincinnati is struggling this season and lost 64-45 to the Cards back on January 4th.
Walz’s team will close out the regular season, Monday at 7:00 PM EST in quite possibly the biggest game of the year in women’s basketball, when they welcome in No.1 Connecticut (28-0, 16-0). It will not only be senior night but also Native American Night Appreciation and Walz says there are already confirmed fans coming in from 38 states. Senior, Shoni Schimmel, who just recently eclipsed the 2000-point mark for her career and was elected as a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy, will be playing in front of her last home crowd and has been a huge part of the success of the women’s program. Joining Schimmel as seniors are Antonita Slaughter, Asia Taylor, Sherrone Vails and Tia Gibbs.
Walz says there have already been over 19,000 tickets sold but he’s really hoping to get a sell-out and send the seniors out right. If you have not been able to get out to one of the ladies’ games, do yourself a favor and buy a few tickets and take your family and or friends out to the contest on Monday and see an amazing product on a special night. You won’t be disappointed. There will also be an autograph session after the game so stick around and meet these young women.
You can find more information on Senior night festivities, tickets and Native American Appreciation Night at the link below: