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Jerry Colangelo to step down as chairman of USA Basketball

The U.S. men's Olympic basketball team poses for a photo with head coach Mike Krzyzewski, left, and managing director Jerry Colangelo, right, during a news conference Monday, June 27, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Valley sports icon Jerry Colangelo announced Thursday that he will not be serving a third term as USA Basketball Chairman, but will remain as Managing Director of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team.

“Given the coaching change and the challenge of assembling a group of players for FIBA’s new competition schedule, this is a good time to devote my full attention to the Men’s National Team,” Colangelo said in a release. “As chairman of USA Basketball, I’m proud of what our teams at all levels have accomplished and how our players have embraced the responsibility of representing their country.  I look forward to working with the next chairman to ensure that we continue to honor and build on USA Basketball’s rich tradition.”

A new chairman will be elected during the USA Basketball Board of Directors’ annual meeting on Nov. 14.

Colangelo said he is relinquishing the role in order to concentrate on building the USA Men’s National Team’s player pool for 2017-20. The transition will include a new coaching staff, with five-time NBA champion Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs replacing Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University.

Colangelo began his tenure with USA Basketball as managing director of the Men’s National Team in 2005. He selected Krzyzewski as head coach and secured commitments from many of the NBA’s top players.

Under Colangelo, the USA Men’s Basketball team won 88 of 89 games and complied a 53-game winning streak in the Olympics, FIBA World Cup and FIBA Americas games.

In 1968, Colangelo was hired as the Phoenix Suns’ first general manager, making him the youngest executive in professional sports at the time. Colangelo went on to win four NBA Executive of the Year awards with the Suns, the most for any executive of one team in the NBA. Later in his career Colangelo led a group of investors who brought the Arizona Diamondbacks into existence. In April 2004 Colangelo sold the Suns, and in 2004 he resigned as managing general partner of the Diamondbacks.

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