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Jennifer Gillom Named Assistant Coach For 2010 USA Women's World Championship Team

September 16, 2009 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Minnesota Lynx News Release

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL - USA Basketball today announced that Minnesota Lynx head coach Jennifer Gillom has been named an assistant coach for the 2010 USA Basketball Women's World Championship Team. Gillom and DePaul University head coach Doug Bruno were selected by the USA Basketball Women's National Team Steering Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.

Bruno and Gillom will assist USA Basketball Women's National Team and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma during the USA's training camps leading up to and during the 2010 FIBA World Championship, scheduled to be played Sept. 23 - Oct. 3 in the Czech Republic.

The USA's first 2009 training camp will be held Sept. 30 - Oct. 5 at American University in Washington, D.C., followed by a tournament in Ekaterinburg, Russia, Oct. 9-11, and a training camp in the spring (dates and sites TBD). The team will gather in the fall of 2010 for the final training ahead of the '10 Worlds.

"I was shocked, dazed, you name it, when I was asked to coach," said Gillom, who was a 1988 U.S. Olympic gold medalist and also captured gold medals on a pair of USA World Championship teams. "With all the things that have happened to me in the past year, being inducted into the (Women's Basketball) Hall of Fame, then being the new Lynx head coach, this really tops the charts. To be recognized for the work that you've done, that you've put in as a player and a coach, then coming back to USA Basketball and representing your country again is an honor. I thought it was an honor as a player, but coming back as a coach is definitely one of the highlights of my career."

"Obviously picking a team is crucial to the success of the national team," said Auriemma. "But having the right coaching staff is really key, because we want people who know how to teach the game and have great rapport with the players. Doug, from all the years that he's coached, the opportunities he's had with USA Basketball and his tremendous love and dedication to the game of women's basketball, I thought he was a great pick. And Jennifer, having played at the highest level and having been thrown into a situation in Minnesota, I thought she did an incredible job all summer, especially after losing Seimone Augustus. I'm thrilled to death. I'm happy for the two of them, happy for me, personally, to get two great people on our staff. I'm excited for our players because I think they're going to have a great experience."

A member of six different USA Basketball teams, Gillom won five gold medals and one silver medal during her international basketball career and was named the 1985 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year. A 1988 U.S. Olympic gold medalist, Gillom aided the 1986 and 2002 USA World Championship teams to gold, was a member of the 1987 USA Pan American Games and 1986 USA Goodwill Games squads that earned gold and garnered a silver medal with the 1985 USA World University Games Team. Additionally, Gillom served on the 2005-08 USA Basketball Cadet and Youth Committee.

"I think my experience as a player, especially with my years in international basketball, will be a benefit to the team," said Gillom. "I also have a great relationship working with players at every level. I think that's a huge asset of mine. Geno is a great coach and I would love to complement what he does, but also helping to keep the young ladies on the same page and doing whatever else would benefit the team.

"Just watching Geno, his coaching abilities are just amazing to me. In coaching a couple of his players in the WNBA, I know that he has put in work with these players and set a standard like all great coaches who have had an impact on players. Geno is a type of coach I would love to learn from. He's a winner. He has a great relationship with his players, something that I admire. He's someone I aspire to be like one day. He's had an awesome career, and I would love to be like him in my coaching endeavors."

A 2009 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Gillom recently completed her second season with the Minnesota Lynx, and her first as head coach. After serving as an assistant coach in 2008, Gillom was elevated to head coach prior to the start of the 2009 season. After starting the year 4-1, Gillom and the Lynx lost Augustus to a torn ACL in her left knee during the team's sixth game Despite missing one of the league's top players, Gillom helped keep the Lynx within striking distance of the playoffs and finished the season with a 14-20 mark.

The 2002 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship of the Year award recipient, Gillom was signed by the WNBA and allocated to the Phoenix Mercury on Dec. 9, 1996. She spent the first six years with the Mercury and closed out her WNBA career with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2003. A member of the 1999 All-Star Game West Team, Gillom was also named to the 1997 All-WNBA first team and 1998 All-WNBA second team. Gillom helped lead the Mercury to three playoff berths (1997, 1998, 2000) where they advanced to the WNBA Finals, losing to Houston in the 1998 WNBA Finals.

Gillom enjoyed a lengthy professional career overseas prior to joining the WNBA, playing for teams in Italy, Greece, Spain and Turkey. Spending most of her time in Italy, Gillom played in Ansona, Messina, Milan and Taranto and was selected to several Italian League All-Star teams. She was the second leading scorer in the Italian League in both 1994-95 (28.3 ppg.) and 1995-96 (24.6 ppg.). During her stint in Turkey, Gillom aided her Istanbul-based Galatasaray squad to the 1998 Turkish Cup and 1998 Turkish championship, while averaging a EuroLeague high of 21.8 points a game in 14 EuroLeague contests.

Gillom played collegiately for Van Chancellor at Ole Miss, where she was the 1986 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Female Athlete of the Year. A 1986 Kodak All- American, Gillom earned 1986 NCAA Midwest Regional MVP and 1985 All-Mideast Region honors and was a four-time All-SEC first team selection. She led the Lady Rebels in scoring her final three seasons and finished, behind her sister Peggie, as Ole Miss' all-time second leading scorer (2,186 points). During her four-year career (1982-83 to 1985-86), Gillom helped her teams to a 103-23 record (.817 winning percentage), four NCAA appearances, including a pair of Sweet Sixteens (1983, 1984) and two Elite Eight finishes (1985, 1986), and a share of three SEC West titles.

Eight players, including Lynx superstar Seimone Augustus, have been named to the 2009-10 USA Basketball Women's National Team, from which the eventual 12-member 2010 USA World Championship Team will be selected. The USA team is fluid, and additional athletes will be added throughout the course of the quadrennium.

The USA Basketball Women's National Team Steering Committee includes: USA Basketball Past President Val Ackerman, WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations Reneé Brown, USA Basketball Women's National Team Director Carol Callan, Athlete Representative and five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards, and USA Basketball Executive Director Jim Tooley

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