At this point, something has to be pretty special to be added to Stan Waterman’s resume.
The coach was able to add two big things last week, in his 26th season at Sanford School. Waterman earned his 500th career victory with a 71-63, double-overtime win at St. Elizabeth in the second round of the DIAA Boys Basketball Tournament. And he was named as one of two assistant coaches for the USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team, which will compete in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Argentina in June.
“It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity for me to learn a little bit, make some contacts and network with other coaches,” Waterman said. “And I’ll get to see the international game of basketball. It will be the best players from across the country at the high school level, so I’m really looking forward to that.”
Waterman has seen four of his former Sanford players benefit from international experience. Trevor Cooney and Will Sheridan both played for U.S. national teams, while Khallid Hart has played for several U.S. Virgin Islands teams and Eric Ayala played for a Puerto Rico team in 2015.
But this will be Waterman’s first international coaching foray. He said he was recommended by other coaches, then went through an interview process and background check before being selected. Veteran USA Basketball coach Don Showalter will be the head coach, assisted by Waterman and Scott Fitch of Fairport, New York.
Waterman will report to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs from June 1-10 for a training camp that will narrow the U.S. team’s roster to 12. Then the Americans will compete for their fifth consecutive gold medal at the FIBA Americas tournament, which will be played June 14-18 in a city to be announced in Argentina.
“Hopefully, I’ll be able to bring some things back to Sanford and to Delaware to help us grow the game here in our own state,” Waterman said.
The international coaching role also includes some speaking engagements and coaching clinics.
“I’m in for a busy summer, an exciting summer,” said Waterman, whose Warriors lost to Caravel 66-56 in the DIAA quarterfinals on Sunday. “This is an opportunity for me to learn and grow and hopefully become better as a coach.”
Fitting in at the Bob
Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association executive director Tommie Neubauer reported attendance of 2,107 for Saturday’s girls quarterfinals, 2,172 for the first session of Sunday’s boys quarterfinals and 3,366 for Sunday’s second session in the DIAA basketball tournaments.
DIAA split the boys quarterfinals into two sessions for the first time this year, allowing more fans to watch the games at the 5,000-seat Bob Carpenter Center. The quarterfinals had sold out each of the last three years, and Sunday’s combined attendance indicates that would have happened again without the split sessions.
As it was, there were tickets available at the door for all sessions. The largest crowd came to watch Sunday night’s final game when ninth-seeded St. Georges upset top-seeded Mount Pleasant 64-48.
Wednesday’s girls semifinals will feature St. Elizabeth vs. Caravel at 6:30, followed by Ursuline vs. Sanford at 8. Thursday’s boys semifinals will start with St. Thomas More vs. Caravel at 6:30, followed by St. Georges vs. Smyrna at 8.
The girls final will start at 7 p.m. Friday, with the boys final tipping off at 1 p.m. Saturday.
The boys semifinals and championship game have sold out in advance the last few years, so purchasing tickets online is suggested. They are available for all remaining boys and girls games at www.statechamps.com/diaa.
Rounding it up
— The Padua soccer team will open the season ranked ninth nationally in the USA Today/National Soccer Coaches Association of America Super 25. Padua went 18-0, won its fourth consecutive DIAA championship and ranked second nationally last season behind Union High of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is also ranked first this season.
— Delaware Military Academy edged Avon Grove (Pennsylvania) 7-6 last Wednesday at The Pond Ice Arena in Newark to win the Inter County Scholastic Hockey League (ICSHL) South championship.
— Wilmington Friends is seeking an assistant baseball coach. For details, call athletic director Dick Kittle at (302) 576-2937 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— High school senior athletes continue to make their college destinations official, including Polytech’s Jamie Ryan (Shenandoah track and field), Josh Davis (McDaniel lacrosse) and Jake Davis (Messiah lacrosse) and St. Elizabeth’s Kailee Gautier (UMass Boston basketball).
— March is National Athletic Training Month. Archmere athletic trainer Jim Malseed reports that around 95 percent of DIAA-member schools now have athletic trainers to help prevent and treat injuries.
Contact Brad Myers at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ