Jeff Van Gundy to coach U.S. basketball in qualifying games

ESPN announcer Jeff Van Gundy.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy will lead the U.S. men’s basketball team through the early stages of qualifying for the 2019 Basketball World Cup.

He will guide a team made up of mostly NBA G League players in this summer’s FIBA AmeriCup 2017 tournament and in qualifying games between November and September 2018.

USA Basketball announced Van Gundy’s appointment Wednesday.

San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich will coach the Americans in the World Cup and the 2020 Olympics, should they qualify. But neither he nor NBA players can take part throughout the qualifying stages, because some will fall during the NBA season under FIBA’s new competition schedule.


The World Cup in China will then serve as the qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics. Van Gundy went 430-318 as coach of the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets, leading the Knicks to the 1999 NBA Finals. He went on to become an analyst for ESPN and calls the Finals.

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