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Vanhooren handed reins of Canadian team for U19 World Cup
TORONTO (Canada) - Canada Basketball on Tuesday announced that Dan Vanhooren will take over as head coach of the Canada team at the upcoming FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2019, where the North Americans will be the reigning champions.
Vanhooren was an assistant coach for the Canadian team at last summer's FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2018, where they reached the Semi-Finals.
"I'm honoured to take part and look forward to working with the Canada Basketball staff in pursuing the goals of the organization," said Vanhooren, who replaces Dave Smart, the coach of the 2000-born generation which played at the FIBA U18 Americas Championship 2018. "It is an exciting time in Canadian basketball with the number of players demonstrating such a high level of talent.
"Our U19 coaches and staff should be equally excited to face the responsibility of continuing to develop our talent with similar enthusiasm and energy to those who have come before our group."
The Red Deer native Vanhooren is in his 19th season as head coach at the University of Calgary, where he guided the Dinos to an undefeated 20-0 regular season record in 2018-19 and a second consecutive U Sports Final 8 championship appearance, losing in the final to Carleton University. Last season, Vanhooren and Calgary won their first national championship in program history.
Dan Vanhooren (in black jacket) was on Kirby Schepp's coaching staff at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2018
"Dan has displayed the ability to successfully lead a winning program as demonstrated by back-to-back U Sports appearances with the Calgary Dinos," Canada Basketball's Youth Player Development manager Michael Meeks said. "After gaining valuable international FIBA experience last summer as a member of Team Canada at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2018, we feel he has a strong understanding of our athletes and can further aid in their ongoing development, both on and off the court."
Vanhooren and his coaching staff will face the added pressure of heading to the U19 World Cup as the reigning champions. The Canadians, who have been coached by Roy Rana at the 2013, 2015 and 2017 editions of the competition, will face Mali, Australia and Latvia in Group B of the 16-team event, which will be played from June 29-July 7 in Heraklion, Greece.