July 7, 2021 

What’s next for Carol Callan

Hall of Famer to step down as U.S. women's basketball team director

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USA basketball’s Carol Callan will step down from her role as women’s national team director after the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Callan will continue to serve a four-year term as president of FIBA Americas, a role she has held since her election in 2019. She is the first woman to hold that position.

As the USA women’s national team director, Callan is responsible for all USA Basketball women’s team programs, including competitions, trials and training camps, and serves as a liaison to women’s competition committees. Callan was a primary architect for the historic 1996 USA national team that competed in 52 games across the country and the world in the lead-up to the Olympic games in Atlanta. The team’s run to gold increased the visibility and popularity of women’s basketball and contributed to the founding of the WNBA in 1996.

Inclusive of the Atlanta games in 1996, the women’s national team has posted a remarkable 112-1 record in major international competitions winning six-straight Olympic gold medals and four of five FIBA World Cups. The team’s only loss in international competition under Callan’s leadership was in the 2006 FIBA World Cup semifinals, resulting in a bronze medal. Between 2008-2013, USA five-on-five women’s teams compiled an astounding 96-2 record in official FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, winning only gold in each Olympic, FIBA World Cup, FIBA U17 and U19 World Cup, and FIBA Americas U16 and U18 Championship.

Callan is also a member of several USA Basketball selection committees — the national team steering committee (chair), the national team player selection committee and the developmental national team committee (non–voting chair). Callan and her role on the senior national team player selection committee has recently faced scrutiny for the omission of Nneka Ogwumike from the roster for the Tokyo Olympics.

Ogwumike is the only player to have won a WNBA MVP award and to have never been selected for an Olympic roster spot. She’s played for Team USA in the past in FIBA competition and has been a regular for the past five years at Team USA camps. Candace Parker, whose high-profile omission from the 2016 Rio Olympics roster was also met with criticism, called the decision “politics” and “bullshit.” Nneka was included on a provisional 15-player roster for the Nigerian Olympic team alongside sisters Chiney Ogwumike and Erica Ogwumike released earlier this week.

In addition to her presidency with FIBA Americas, Callan will consult for USA Basketball’s new foundation, supporting initiatives for women and youth development in sports. Her historic career will be recognized with an induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee, in August.

USA Basketball will prioritize a search for Callan’s successor after the Tokyo Olympics. The next major competition for the women’s national team is next year, with the FIBA Women’s World Cup being held in Sydney, Australia, from Sept. 22-Oct. 1 2022.

Written by Tee Baker

Tee has been a contributor to The Next since March Madness 2021 and is currently a contributing editor, BIG EAST beat reporter and curator of historical deep dives.

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