Billy Donovan-led USA Basketball Team wins gold medal
Florida men’s basketball coach Billy Donovan didn't get an NCAA championship trophy this season, but he now has a gold medal.
Donovan led the USA Basketball team to a gold medal in the 2012 U18 FIBA Americas championship on Wednesday night. The team went 5-0, and won the championship with an 81-56 victory over Brazil in the gold medal game in Sao Sebastiao do Paraiso, Brazil.
“I told our guys after that they’re the ones that made it all possible,” Donovan told usabasketball.com. “There was a lot of sacrifice. We had a lot of good players and I think they all understood that they all could probably score more, they all could probably do more, but maybe it wouldn’t be the best thing for our team. I was just really proud of the way they sacrificed for one another, they sacrificed for our country and they really wanted to win.
“If it wasn’t for those guys, as the head coach and one of the coaches who was part of this, I would have never had the chance to experience this,'' Donovan added So I got the chance to experience something I’ve never experienced in my life and I owe a lot to those guys. When you have them for three days of tryouts in a week and you have to play in this type of competition you never know how it’s going to go and I thought they did a terrific job.”
The top four teams from the event, USA, Brazil, Canada and Argentina, earned a spot in the 2013 U19 World Championships. Donovan's assistant coaching staff was VCU head coach and former Gator assistant Shaka Smart and Gonzaga head coach Mark Few.