Kessler Aids Finalist Selection for USA Basketball Training Camp

Grace College men’s basketball coach Jim Kessler talks with players at the USA Basketball Training Camp in Colorado Springs. Kessler was invited to serve as a court coach at the camp for the World University Games (Photo courtesy of USA Basketball)

Grace College’s men’s basketball coach Jim Kessler finished the coaching experience of a lifetime this week. Kessler served as a court coach for USA Basketball’s training camp for the 2013 World University Games (WUG).

Kessler’s 36 years of basketball coaching expertise was used to help whittle down an elite field of collegiate basketball players to the list of 16 finalists for the 2013 USA Basketball WUG Team.

“For me it was just a thrill to be a part of that collection and caliber of coaches and players,” Kessler said. “I went there with no illusions of grandeur, but it was just a joy to be a part of that level of play. The players were receptive and eager to learn.”

Kessler was a court coach for the training camp alongside Tad Boyle (Colorado) and Matt Matheny (Elon). Davidson’s Bob McKilop is the head coach and is assisted by John Beilein (Michigan) and Frank Martin (South Carolina).

Training camp runs through June 30 with the final roster of 12 players to represent USA Basketball in Russia for the WUG.

“For USA Basketball to give the NAIA a seat at the table is really appreciated by all of us,” Kessler continued. “It was an honor to be a part of that selection process and help send our best amateur players overseas to represent us. It’s good for the Crossroads League and good for Grace.”

Finalists for the final roster include Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey of Indiana University and Jerian Grant of Notre Dame.

Other finalists include: Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado/Woodland Hills, Calif.); Davante Gardner (Marquette/Suffolk, Va.); Treveon Graham (Virginia Commonwealth/Temple Hills, Md.); Luke Hancock (Louisville/ Roanoke, Va.); Tyler Haws (BYU/Alpine, Utah); Rodney Hood (Duke/Meridian, Miss.); Cory Jefferson (Baylor/ Killeen, Texas); Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati/Yonkers, N.Y.); Alex Kirk (New Mexico/Los Alamos, N.M.); Doug McDermott (Creighton/Ames, Iowa); Adreian Payne (Michigan State/Dayton, Ohio); Chasson Randle (Stanford/Rock Island, Ill.); and Aaron White (Iowa/Strongsville, Ohio).

“You relate to these types of players the same way you relate to anyone else. They still need to be encouraged and instructed like every other player in the country, they just happen to be phenomenal athletes,” Kessler said. “[The coaches] asked the question if there were any players who we didn’t want representing the US. We had nobody who wasn’t a good representative on that squad. They were quality young men.”

For more information on USA Basketball or the World University Games, click here.

Check out several photos of Kessler on the sidelines at training camp in Colorado here.

Jim Kessler of Grace College looks on during the USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Training Camp (Photo courtesy of USA Basketball)


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