EDITOR'S NOTE: UCF women's basketball coach Joi Williams was selected to serve as an assistant coach for the 2011 USA U19 National Team this summer at the FIBA U19 World Championship, which will be held in Chile from July 21-31. This is the second consecutive summer that Williams has represented her country after capturing Gold at the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championships in Colorado Springs.
August 1, 2011 - 7:05 p.m.
WOW! We did it! We won the 2011 FIBA World Championship for Women GOLD MEDAL by beating Spain 69-46! It was definitely an amazing feeling and so gratifying to see how the team came together! I feel very blessed to have had this opportunity and the memories will be with me for a long time. Working alongside Jen Rizzotti and Sue Semrau was a great experience and I definitely learned a lot.
I'm sitting in the airport in Santiago, Chile awaiting our 10 hour flight to Dallas! I am looking forward to returning home to warm weather and I can't wait to see the Williams' family and my UCF family!
July 31, 2011 - 2:45 p.m.
Hola! It's GOLD MEDAL game day! We play Spain today at 6:45 p.m.! This is what we've been preparing for and why we've made the sacrifices we have! We had great energy this morning during our film session and during our shootaround. The team seems really focused on what we have to do to beat Spain. They are a very scrappy team and like to play at a very deliberate pace and tempo. We, on the other hand, want to push the ball and play at a faster pace so we have to do a good job of controlling the tempo and getting the shots that we want.
After we returned from shootaround, Jen (head coach), Karina (attache`) and I went back to the flea market to pick up a couple of gifts. Now it's time for our pre-game meal and some down time before the game. That's it for now so, hopefully, when I check in tonight, we will be gold medal winners!
July 28, 2011 - 9:00 p.m.
Hola! The second round of competition is over and the seedings are set for the medal round. We had a tough loss to Canada yesterday so that means that we are the #2 seed in our group. A disappointing loss but it's a huge wake-up call for our team and it doesn't affect our chance to win a gold medal! We will play France tomorrow (Friday) in the quarter finals at 6:45 p.m. The semi-final games are on Saturday and the gold medal game is on Sunday.
Today, we had two practices...one this morning that was more defense-oriented and another one at 6 p.m. that was focused on offense.
Between practices, Karina, our attaché (interpretor), took a group of us to an outdoor free market to chilly" outside for me.
July 24, 2011 - 9:40 p.m.
Hola! Just wanted to catch everyone up on how the trip is going. We ended up 3-0 in pool play with wins over Japan, Russia and Argentina. Today we had an off day (practice but no game) and we took a tour bus to the city of Ensenada and visited the Orsono volcano! Victor, our tour guide, was great and basically gave us a history lesson about Chile's lake region. Once we arrived, several of the players played in the snow and enjoyed sledding and snowball fights. It was VERY cold so those of you that know me will not be surprised that I did not play in the snow but opted to stay inside and have hot chocolate with the rest of the staff:-)!
Tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. we begin second-round play. China is our first opponent of the second round and then we'll face Italy (Tues) and Canada (Wed). Well, that's it for now. China is my scout so I have to get back to work because our film session is at 9:15 a.m. and then shootaround at 10:00 a.m. Check in tomorrow for an update of our game! Also, check out the photo gallery at www.usabasketball.com
July 22, 2011 - 12:15 p.m.
Hola...day two of the tournament today! We had shootaround this morning at 9:00 a.m. Our opponent today is Russia and it was my first scout of the tourney. I had to walk our players through Russia's offensive sets so they could understand how we need to defend them. Once we returned to the hotel, I gave them a scouting report which had a listing of Russia's personnel/tendencies and led a film session showing some clips of their offense & defense.
Tip-off is at 1:30 p.m. and the big keys for us today will be playing good team defense and rebounding on both ends! Check in later to see how we did :-)!
July 21, 2011 - 12:55 p.m.
It's finally GAME DAY!! We watched film this morning at 9:30 a.m., had shootaround at 10:15 a.m. and now we are boarding the bus to go to the arena! Tip-off is at 1:30 p.m. and our first opponent is Japan.
Went to opening ceremonies last night. All of the teams were announced as they paraded onto the court and then several speakers welcomed everyone. It was really a neat feeling when our delegation was announced and our team walked out holding the American flag!
Let's go USA!!
- Coach Joi
July 20, 2011 - 11:00 a.m.
Hola! Third day in Chile was good. We scrimmaged Australia last night inside the main arena where we are going to play. None of the gyms that we've practiced in so far have had heat and last night was no exception! Imagine playing basketball, INSIDE, and the temperature being around the mid-30 degrees! LOL (but not really)! However, the tournament organizers have promised that we will have heat once play begins tomorrow:-)! Headed to lunch right now and to opening ceremonies this evening.
Ciao for now but I'll check in again later!
- Coach Joi
July 18, 2011
The first night in a foreign place is always a little strange for me because I usually wake up in the middle of the night a kind of disoriented (as I did this morning around 4:30 a.m.)! We had breakfast at 9:30 a.m. and then walked across the street from our hotel to get some snacks at "Jumbo", Chile's version of Target. At 3:15 p.m., we had a scrimmage vs. Russia. Our offensive execution was pretty good. Defensively, we had a tough time guarding penetration and fouled way too much. We ended up winning 95-56, but we still have work to do:)!
- Coach Joi