Chicago Sky’s General Manager and Head Coach James Wade has been selected to support USA Women’s National Team head coach Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx) at the 2022 USA National Team training camp and FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Washington, D.C. He will be joined by WNBA head coaches Vickie Johnson (Dallas Wings), Curt Miller (Connecticut Sun), and Mike Thibault (Washington Mystics). The February 2022 USA National Team coaching staff was selected by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Committee and approved by the USABasketball Board of Directors.
“It has been a dream of mine to be involved with USA Basketball in any capacity, so I am very excited and honored to be selected to this position,” said Wade, who in February will join his first USA Basketball staff. “I’ve always been a big fan of their structure and how dominant of a team they are. As a proud American citizen, being a part of this process is going to be amazing.
“What I’ll bring to the mix is my work ethic and ability to work with other people – I’ll always bring good energy. I’ve already had experiences with the players and coaching staff so I’m looking forward to coming right in and being as helpful as possible. I’m ready to do whatever they need me to do.”
Making an immediate impact in Chicago, in his first year as head coach Wade was named the 2019 WNBA Coach of the Year after leading the Sky to its first playoff appearance in three years. This past season, Wade and the Sky finished with a 16-16 record in the regular season and went 8-2 in its run to the 2021 WNBA Championship.
Wade began coaching in 2012 as an assistant for the San Antonio Stars through 2016 and from 2017-18, served as an assistant coach to Reeve and the Minnesota Lynx, which won the 2017 WNBA crown, before taking over as head coach for the Chicago Sky in 2019. He also served stints in the EuroLeague for BLMA in France and UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia, where he aided Ekat to the 2018 EuroLeague title.
All four will serve as court coaches during the Feb. 5-9 training camp. Johnson and Thibault will assist on the bench during the FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament from Feb. 10-12, while Miller and Wade will continue as court coaches and team scouts during the tournament.
“This is a really strong collection of WNBA coaches,” said Reeve. “They possess great minds for the game, strong connections to the players, USA Basketball experience, and I am looking forward to working with them.”
One of four world-wide sites selected by FIBA to host a FIBA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament, the Washington, D.C., site features teams from the USA, Belgium and Puerto Rico competing Feb. 10-12. Puerto Rico will play Belgium on Feb. 10; the Feb. 11 contest features the USA against Belgium; and the women’s games conclude with a USA versus Puerto Rico clash on Feb. 12. All games will be held at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C.
The USA Basketball Women’s National Team Committee is chaired by Connecticut Sun president and 2018-21 USA National Team assistant coach Jennifer Rizzotti and includes Olympic and World Cup gold medalists Seimone Augustus and DeLisha Milton-Jones, 2017-21 USA National Team head coach Dawn Staley and WNBA head of league operations Bethany Donaphin.