SDSU’s Johnston selected to coach at USA Basketball’s U19 team trials


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (SDSU) — South Dakota State University women’s basketball coach Aaron Johnston has been selected as one of four court coaches for USA Basketball’s U19 team trials.

“It is a tremendous honor to be a part of USA Basketball and their storied tradition of excellence,” Johnston said. “I am looking forward to working and learning with the talented coaches, athletes and USA Basketball staff.”

Johnston will be joined on the staff by Lisa Fortier (Gonzaga), Nikki McCray-Penson (Old Dominion) and DeLisha Milton-Jones (Pepperdine).

“Nikki, DeLisha and Lisa are highly accomplished in the women’s basketball community, and I am excited to join them in this opportunity with USA Basketball,” Johnston added.

The 2019 USA Basketball women’s trials, which will be used to select the 2019 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Cup and U.S. Pan American Games teams, will take place May 16-20 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“These four coaches will bring knowledge and enthusiasm to our women’s trials,” said Jennifer Rizzotti, chair of the selection committee and head coach at George Washington University. “We appreciate their willingness to give their time to help assist the USA U19 and USA Pan Am Games coaching staffs and to help ensure the athletes have a successful trials experience.”

Johnston, the winningest women’s basketball coach in SDSU history, recently completed his 19th season with a career record of 469-156 (.750).

In 2018-19, the Jackrabbits finished 28-7 and 15-1 in the Summit League, claiming their ninth Summit League Championship title. South Dakota State capped the 2018-19 season with a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Johnston has guided SDSU to 13 postseason appearances, including nine NCAA Tournaments since the program turned Division I in 2004-05. He has been named the Summit League Coach of the Year four times (2008, 2009, 2012, 2014) and has guided the Jackrabbits to a winning record in all 19 years at South Dakota State.

In addition to Rizzotti, the USA Junior National Team Selection Committee includes athlete representative and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Kara Lawson, and NCAA representatives Karen Aston (Texas), Tonya Cardoza (Temple) and Wes Moore (North Carolina State).

Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and chaired by retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA national teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored five-on-five and 3×3 international competitions, as well as for some national competitions and for the development of youth basketball.

Connect with USA Basketball at and on Facebook (USABasketball and USABYouth), Twitter (@usabasketball, @USABYouth, @USAB3x3, @USABJNT), Instagram (@USABasketball) and YouTube (therealusabasketball).

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