May 8, 2006
Colorado Springs, Colo. - The USA Basketball Men's Collegiate Committee has selected the University of Washington's Lorenzo Romar to head up the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship For Men Team. The Georgia Institute of Technolgy's Paul Hewitt and DePaul University's (Ill.) Jerry Wainwright will serve as assistants. Syracuse University (N.Y.) head coach Jim Boeheim chairs the committee.
"Whenever I've gotten a chance to work with USA Basketball, I've always felt honored," Romar said. "To represent the United States in the United States is going to be a first for me, and I anticipate it is going to be very special."
The tournament, which will qualify four teams for the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship, is being held at the Bill Greehey Arena on the campus of St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas. Trials for the USA U18 Team will be held June 16-18 in San Antonio with approximately 30 U.S. hopefuls, born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, participating. Following selection of finalists for the USA squad, the Americans will continue to train June 19-27 in San Antonio.
The FIBA Americas U18 Championship format divides teams into two preliminary round groups consisting of four teams each. Preliminary round play will be held June 28, 29 and 30, and each team will play the other three teams in its preliminary group. The top two finishing teams in each preliminary round group will then advance to the Saturday, July 1, medal round semifinals and play for 1st-4th places. Teams placing third and fourth in each preliminary round group will advance to the consolation semifinals and play for 5th-8th places. The FIBA Americas U18 Championship For Men Finals will be held Sunday, July 2. The host nation United States was drawn into preliminary round Group A with Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Uraguay, while Group B consists of Argentina, Bahamas, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Romar enters his 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship For Men selection having experience as a USA Basketball coach and athlete. He was an assistant to Tom Izzo at the 2003 Pan American Games-the U.S. squad as 2-3 for a fourth place finish, and an assistant under Rick Majerus with the 1997 U22 World Championship Team-which finished 6-2 for fifth place. As an athlete, he was a member of the 1978 U.S. Olympic Festival West Team that was 1-3, earning a bronze medal.
Romar has spent the past four seasons (2002-03 to present) as the head coach at the University of Washington and is 84-42 (.667 winning percentage) with the Huskies.
In 2006, the 26-7 Huskies reached their second straight NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen and their third consecutive NCAA Tournament, tying a school record for consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (1984-1986). Romar was honored at the Final Four as the winner of the 2006 John Wooden "Keys to Life" Award.
Washington's 29-6 finish in 2005 tied the program's record for wins, set in 1938, and saw the Huskies earn their first No. 1 seed into the NCAA Tournament. Reaching the Sweet Sixteen, Romar was named the Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year and the Black Coaches Association National Coach of the Year.
In 2004, tallying a 19-12 record, the Huskies reached their first NCAA Tournament since 1999 and their first Pac-10 Tournament championship appearance since 1987. After five straight losses to open the conference schedule, the Huskies won 12 of their last 13 conference games, beating the previously undefeated and No. 1 ranked Stanford University (Calif.). The Huskies also swept their three-game series against the University of Arizona for the first time since 1987. In his first year of rebuilding, Romar led an inexperienced Husky team, including one senior and six freshman, to wins over NCAA Tournament-bound Stanford and the University of Oregon.
Romar's 51 wins at St. Louis University (Mo.), which ranks seventh among all-time St. Louis coaches, is the fourth-best three-year total in school history. In three years as a head coach at St. Louis (1999-2000 through 2001-02), he compiled a record of 51-44 (.537 winning percentage).
Romar's 2000-01 squad became the first team in conference history to defeat the University of Cincinnati in back-to-back games. Romar's Billikens also swept the season series against the University of Louisville (Ky.) for the first time in 35 years.
In his inaugural season, Romar guided St. Louis to a 19-14 record, upsetting top-ranked Cincinnati in the second round of the Conference USA Tournament. The Billikens advanced to win the championship and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Romar became the first St. Louis coach to accomplish either feat in his first season.
In three seasons (1996-97 through 1998-99) as the head coach at Pepperdine University (Calif.) he amassed a three-year record of 42-44 (.488 winning percentage). In 1999, the Waves made their first post season appearance in five years, finishing the season 19-13 with a bid to the NIT. Pepperdine's 17-10 record in 1997-98, an 11-game improvement from the previous season, led to a second-place finish in the West Coast Conference. Pepperdine was the second-most improved NCAA Division I team in 1997-98, trailing Connecticut.
UCLA's record during Romar's four years (1992-93 through 1995-96) as an assistant coach was 97-28 (.776 winning percentage), including Pac-10 championships in 1995 and 1996 and an NCAA national championship in 1995.
As a professional athlete, Romar was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the seventh round of the 1980 NBA Draft. His five-year NBA career included stints with Golden State (1980-81 through 1983-84), Milwaukee (1984) and Detroit (1984-85). He joined Athletes in Action (AIA) following the 1984-85 season and started 224 of 233 games during his seven years as a player for AIA. He set single-game records for most points (54) and assists (21), and he remains the team's all-time assists leader (1,689) and ranks No. 2 in all-time scoring (4,244). In 1992, at age 34, Romar scored 45 points against Michigan's "Fab Five" freshmen. Romar took on co-head coaching duties for AIA in 1989, while remaining a player.
In 1978, Romar earned his associate degree from Cerritos Community College (Calif.), where he led the Falcons to 23-8, averaged 14.1 points per game, set the school record for single-season assists and earned all-league first team honors during his sophomore year (1977-78). He was inducted into the California Community College Hall of Fame in 1992.
He transferred to Washington in 1978 and played two seasons for Marv Harshman. As a junior (1978-79), he led the team in assists (80) and steals (35) while shooting 51 percent from the field. As a senior (1979-80) and team captain, he played in all 28 games for the 18-10 Huskies and made an NIT appearance. He again led the team in assists (99). Both years, his teammates voted him Most Inspirational.
2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship
Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifier, the tournament has been held every four years since 1990. USA men's teams boast of a sensational 25-1 overall record in the U18/junior qualifiers and have won gold in 1990, 1994 and 1998, while capturing bronze most recently in 2002. The awarding of the U18 Championship For Men to USA Basketball and San Antonio marks the first time the event has been hosted in the United States.
Some of the top players who have represented the United States in past U18 tournaments include Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1994); Carmelo Anthony (2002); Chris Bosh (2002); Dee Brown (2002); Nick Collison (1998); Grant Hill (1990); Allan Houston (1990); Andre Iguodala (2002); Stephon Marbury (1994); Mike Miller (1998); Quentin Richardson (1998); and Deron Williams (2002).
2006 USA Basketball Men's FIBA Americas U18 Championship Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Lorenzo Romar, University of Washington
Assistant Coach: Paul Hewitt, Georgia Polytechnic Institute
Assistant Coach: Jerry Wainwright, DePaul University (Ill.)