USA Basketball Got it Right Naming Cheryl Reeve Women's National Team Head Coach

Photo courtesy of Minnesota Lynx on Twitter

After the USA Basketball Women’s National Team claimed its seventh straight gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, a major question heading into the next Olympic competition was who would be leading the team as head coach.

As soon as Dawn Staley stepped down following the Tokyo Olympics, many names and candidates were thrown out to replace her. On Wednesday, that decision was made when Cheryl Reeve, the Minnesota Lynx head coach and general manager and long-time USA Women’s National Team assistant, was named the new head coach. And it was the right move to make by Team USA.

“I am incredibly humbled and excited to be named head coach of the USA Basketball Women’s National Team, one of the greatest dynasties in sports,” said Reeve in a news release sent out by USA Basketball. “I have enjoyed an incredible journey with USA Basketball since joining in 2014 and look forward to what lies ahead as we seek more gold for the USA. I am indebted to the USA Basketball Board of Directors, Dawn Staley, Geno Auriemma, and of course, my Lynx family who have positioned me for this prestigious opportunity.”

Reeve will take over as head coach until at least 2024, leading the USA squads at the 2022 FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament, the 2022 FIBA World Cup, the 2023-24 Olympic Qualifying Tournament and potentially the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

“What I’ve learned about Cheryl while getting to work with her over several years is that, when you get Cheryl involved, you get all of her,” USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley said on Wednesday. “She’s engaged, she’s committed and her passion and enthusiasm is contagious. … For us, it was really a no-brainer.”

Reeve joins a history of legendary coaches to take on the role of head coach of USA after already playing a large role on the national team as an assistant coach. She was an assistant for the last two Olympics — the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro and 2020 in Tokyo — and served as an assistant for the 2014-16 USA National Team that took home gold medals at the 2014 FIBA World Cup Team and 2016 Olympic Games. Reeve returned as an assistant for the 2018 World Cup Team, winning gold and qualifying for the 2020 Olympics.

Reeve, already one of the best coaches in basketball history and someone who has a winning and championship-filled resume, was long viewed as a prime candidate to take over the position of head coach to continue to carry on the tradition of excellence that the United States has carried to put together a historic run of success.

The appointment of Reeve was a no-brainer with her experience and respect established in the WNBA, and knowing the players who take part in the league and the national team.

“Cheryl’s been around for a long time, and she has been an assistant coach with this team for a long time,” Staley told the Star Tribune after the Tokyo games. “She can handle this position quite well, and she’ll demand and command respect from the players. What she can bring to the table is unmatched. So she’d get my nod, for sure.”

Team USA will look to build off another impressive performance in the Tokyo Olympics, which resulted in another gold medal and their winning streak expanding to 55 straight games, beginning in 2022 and continuing into the future. And now we know who will be leading that team moving forward, and USA Basketball knocked the decision out of the park with the appointment of Reeve as head coach.

“It was very surreal. … You feel honored, you feel humbled, you feel grateful and you feel excited,” Reeve said during her introductory press conference. “I am honored to be part of one of the greatest sports dynasties ever. … To represent your country at the highest level is cool. You feel honored. … Incredibly, incredibly humbling.

“I feel so excited to get started. … I feel incredibly blessed to be able to work with some of the best athletes in the world.”

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