This summer USA men’s national basketball team will feature a familiar face to Northern Arizona basketball fans.
USA Basketball announced that Northern Arizona Suns head coach Ty Ellis will be a member of the Stars and Stripes coaching staff at the FIBA AmeriCup 2017.
Former NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy will lead the Americans at the AmeriCup and FIBA World Cup Qualifying games.
“I want to thank my wife and family for their support, and everyone involved for this wonderful opportunity,” said Ellis in a press release.
“I feel truly blessed and honored to be a part of USA Basketball. Since the 1992 Dream Team, it has been my lifelong dream to be a part of USA Basketball and now, that dream has come true.”
Ellis will help lead the Americans at the AmeriCup in Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia Aug. 25 to Sept. 3.
On Aug. 28, USA will play Panama, Uruguay on Aug. 29 and then the Dominican Republic on Aug. 30.
If the USA advances to the semifinals, they will play in Argentina on Sept. 2.
Van Gundy, who was a head coach in the NBA for 11 seasons, leads a group of primarily NBA G League players. This summer the NBA D-League changed its name to the NBA G League
“I’m extremely fortunate to have an opportunity to learn from Coach Van Gundy and Coach Mo. I had a chance to experience Coach Van Gundy’s coaching early in my playing career and I always admired his knowledge, honesty, and attention to detail. Now I have a chance to be his assistant coach and be a part of USA Basketball. I’m living the dream!”
Ellis, 39, was named the NAZ Suns’ first ever head coach in 2016.
AmeriCup will start with a round-robin first round with groups of four. Final-round host Argentina, plus the winners of the three groups advance to the semifinals.
The other eight teams in the tournament are Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands and Venezuela.
Ellis played international in Germany, Turkey, Italy and Spain.
The Prescott Valley based Suns completed their first ever season a couple months ago.