Gene McGivern, University of St. Thomas Sports Information
USA Basketball has announced that St. Thomas Women's Hoops head coach Ruth Sinn is one of three coaches who will lead 2019 Women's U16 National Basketball in its upcoming international games.
Mark Campbell of Division II Union University has been selected as head coach, while Sinn and Texas high school coach Kelly Carruthers will serve as assistants.
This is Campbell and Sinn's first coaching stints with USA Basketball, while Carruthers previously served as a court coach for the 2015 USA Women's U16 National Team trials.
Chaired by USA Basketball Women's National Team director Carol Callan, the USA Basketball Women's Developmental National Team Committee is responsible for selecting the U.S. coaching staff, which is approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
"This trio of coaches has compiled impressive records of success at their schools, and our committee is delighted to have them take the reins of the U16 national team program," Callan said. "Proven winners, teachers and eager representatives of our country, this staff is the right group of coaches to go to Chile to compete in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship and earn a spot in next year's FIBA U17 World Cup."
The USA Developmental National Team Committee includes four-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Cup gold medalist Tamika Catchings and two-time Olympic and two-time World Cup gold medalist DeLisha Milton-Jones as the athlete representatives; Kevin Lynch as the AAU representative; collegiate coaches Kirsten Moore (Westmont College) and Mia Smith (Illinois Wesleyan) as the at-large representatives; and Jill Schneider (Monterey H.S., Texas) is the NFHS representative.
Trials to select the 12-member USA U16 National Team will be held May 23-27 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Following the trials, team finalists will remain for training camp through May 31, when the official 12-member roster is expected to be announced. Training camp will be held June 5-15, with the 2019 U16 FIBA Americas Championship competition running June 16-22 in Aysen, Chile.
Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens born on or after Jan. 1, 2003.
Campbell recently completed his 20th season (1999-00 to present) as Union University head coach, and has a record of 613-94 (.867).
Sinn recently completed her 14th season with the Tommies and has compiled an overall record of 329-81 (.802). This decade, her Tommie women's .887 win percentage (244-31) is the best winning percentage of any MIAC team in any sport. That run has included captruring eight of nine conference playoff titles and seven of nine league regular-season crowns.
Over the last eight seasons, Sinn has led St. Thomas to three NCAA Division III Final Fours and four other Sweet 16 appearances. Sinn has been named Region Coach of the Year twice and MIAC Coach of the Year four times.
In 2018-19, the Tommies finished 30-2 and went undefeated with an 18-0 slate in the MIAC and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament. St. Thomas has won 27 in a row at Schoenecker Arena since December 2017. The Tommies' 74 wins in a row against MIAC opponents is the second longest current conference win streak in NCAA basketball (all levels, both genders), behind only the Connecticut Huskies.
"I'm very honored and humbled," Sinn said. "This is a fantastic opportunity to work with the best of the best especially in this great game of basketball. The coaches and the players are the best from all across the country, so I'm very excited to learn, collaborate and represent our country on an international stage."
Sinn was inducted into the Minnesota State Girls Basketball Coaches' Association Hall of Fame in 2002 and has served on the Minnesota Ms. Basketball Committee since 1988. She has 15 former players now involved in teaching and/or coaching at various levels.
Sinn previously spent 16 seasons as a head coach at nearby Apple Valley High. Her Eagle teams played in three state tournaments, won eight section championships, and compiled a 290-170 record under her direction.
"In the coaching profession we always learn from other people," Sinn said. "I can't wait to extend this network and start learning from others, and hopefully I can help people along the way as well."
FIBA Americas U16 Championship
The FIBA Americas U16 Championship features eight U16 national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. The 2019 FIBA Americas U16 Championship serves as the qualifying tournament for the 2020 FIBA U17 World Cup, and the top four finishing teams earn a berth to the 2020 U17 World Cup.
The eight nations qualified to compete in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship are: Canada and the United States as the North American entries; Chile (gold medalist), Ecuador (silver medalist) and Brazil (bronze medalist) qualified through the 2018 South American U15 Championship; while Puerto Rico (gold medalist),
Cuba (silver medalist) and Mexico (bronze medalist) earned the final three berths from the 2018 Centrobasket U15 Championship.
Since FIBA Americas initiated the U16 Championship in 2009, USA teams have compiled a 24-1 record and won gold in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2017.