Virgin Islands' Edniesha Curry becomes first woman in AmeriCup history to lead a men's senior team
MIAMI (United States) - Edniesha Curry will become the first woman in AmeriCup history to lead a men's senior team when she will head coach the Virgin Islands team in Recife from September 2-11 in the 19th edition of the AmeriCup competition.
But breaking ceilings is in Curry's nature.
In Portland Curry became the first woman to serve as an assistant in the history of the Trail Blazers organization for the 2021-22 season. She was also the only female assistant coach in Division I basketball when she was hired as an assistant for the men’s team at the University of Maine in 2018.
“It is with great honor and excitement that I have been appointed to make 'HerStory' as the head men’s coach of the Virgin Islands national team,” said Curry.
“For me this opportunity is bigger than basketball being a woman I represent hope a future I look forward to seeing more national team programs do because there are talented women coaches all over the world that can lead men’s programs.”
Curry, a former player herself in the WNBA, was drafted in 2002 by the Charlotte Sting and played for the Phoenix Mercury and Los Angeles Sparks.
During her coaching career, Curry has worked in Israel, China, Palestine and Vietnam doing coaching and development work with players and has worked with both men’s and women’s basketball players from the collegiate to the highest professional level.
As for Virgin Islands, ranked 57th in the world, they made their AmeriCup debut in 2001 and have appeared in the competition six times, finishing fourth overall in their last appearance in 2017.
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Coming off a tough competition in Group C of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Americas Qualifiers where they faced off against Canada, Dominican Republic and Bahamas, going 0-6, Virgin Islands will use the experience in the AmeriCup to grow as a team and national program.
Both Dominican Republic and Canada were also part of Virgin Islands’ AmeriCup Qualifiers group and have prepared ISV to be able to compete with other top teams as both DOM and CAN sit in the top 20 of the FIBA World Rankings.
Players like Walter Hodge, Ivan Aska and Jamaal Samuel have helped build a solid foundation for the team, and after making it to the third-place game in the 2017 edition of the AmeriCup, Virgin Islands want to prove they can compete with everyone else in the Americas.
Virgin Islands, who took the top of the podium in 2015 at the Centrobasket Championship for Men, aim to get back to their winning ways on the international scale under Curry’s leadership.
“This tournament is another step for the team to progress forward and garner respect in the FIBA community,” said Curry.
“We bring back a roster of key veteran players with a mix of young talented role players that look forward to a great showing in Brazil. One thing is clear from all my talks with the team they do not have the ‘Just Show Up Mindset’!”
The FIBA AmeriCup 2022, the most prestigious basketball event in the region, returns to Brazil for the first time since 1984, and will host the best 12 teams of the Americas.