Team USA is preparing for the Tokyo Olympics.
Olympic gold medalist and 19-year NBA standout Grant Hill was approved today by the USA Basketball Board of Directors as the next managing director of the USA Men’s National Team. Hill will succeed current managing director Jerry Colangelo after the Tokyo Olympics.
“It is a tremendous honor to serve as managing director of USA Basketball’s Men’s National Team. I am looking forward to working with the USA Basketball staff and Board of Directors to lead this organization so uniquely positioned for continued growth and for developing and promoting our top talent in events around the world,” said Hill. “As a member of the 1996 Dream Team, I know the thrill and responsibility it is to represent our country. I am confident USA Basketball will continue to showcase the top talent and highest character players in our country.”
“We are very excited that Grant Hill will join USA Basketball as our USA Men’s National Team managing director. Grant is a proven leader of consequence and character who will continue to help us achieve on our twin goals of winning international competitions and representing our country with honor” said USA Basketball Board of Directors chair and retired General Martin Dempsey. “In making this announcement, I also want to emphasize how much everyone associated with USA Basketball appreciates Jerry Colangelo for everything he did for USA Basketball over the past 15 years.”
After taking over in 2005, Colangelo did a fantastic job righting a program in crisis and sustaining success. Team USA finished sixth in the 2002 FIBA World Championship then, even more troubling, third in the 2004 Olympics. The United States has won gold at all three Olympics since. Colangelo could make it 4-for-4 in Tokyo.
But cracks were beginning to show in the foundation.
Colangelo attracted a relatively starless roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The Americans finished an embarrassing seventh – their worst-ever finish in a major tournament. Colangelo indicated he was holding a grudge against players who pulled out.
He also waded into Bryan Colangelo’s burner scandal to defend his son. That didn’t help Jerry’s credibility, especially as Bryan fails to put the issue behind him.
Colangelo already stepped down as USA Basketball Chairman in 2016, giving way to Dempsey. At 81, Colangelo is ready to step away completely.
Hill looks like a fantastic choice as successor. He has the intelligence and interpersonal skills to run the program. Highly respected and connected after his lengthy NBA career (which included time both as a superstar and role player), he should attract top talent.
Among his responsibilities will likely be selecting a new coach. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is set to guide Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics. But that could be the 72-year-old’s last hurrah.
Team USA is heading toward a new era – with the expectation once again gold medals at every Olympics.