MEXICO CITY (FIBA Americas Championship) - Mexico have made more waves in international basketball by announcing that former NBA champion Bill Cartwright is the new coach of the national team.
Cartwright, a title winner with the Chicago Bulls in 1991, 1992 and 1993, has taken the reins of the Mexicans following the departure of Spaniard Sergio Valdeolmillos.
Mexico hit the heights unexpectedly in 2013 under Valdeolmillos when they won the FIBA Americas Championship in Caracas, Venezuela, and made more headlines this summer by not only appearing in the FIBA Basketball World Cup for the first time in 40 years but advancing from the Group Phase.
Cartwright was an integral part of the Bulls success as a towering center.
After his playing career, Cartwright joined the Chicago coaching staff as an assistant to Phil Jackson.
He was later put in charge of a rebuilding Bulls team as head coach during the 2001-02 season but was eventually fired early in the 2003-04 campaign.
Cartwright is excited about coaching a Mexican side that will be the host team of next year's FIBA Americas Championship.
"We will try to make Mexico a team that people are proud of," he said.
As for the make-up of the team, Cartwright says he wants to examine all the possibilities.
"We want to find those players who have the spirit and desire to represent the Mexican team and want to come play," he said.
"I am willing to accept this challenge and I will look for those players to do well in the Mexico project."
Gustavo Ayon has been the most famous of the Mexican players of late.
The big man was the Most Valuable Player of the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship and also played extremely well at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Ayon, who has spent the last three years in the NBA, has just signed a two-year contract with Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Cartwright was a three-time All-American at San Francisco and is the only individual to earn three West Coast Conference Player of the Year awards. As a player and as a coach, Cartwright earned five NBA championship rings.