Knee surgery not expected to keep 'Coach K' from Rio

Washington (AFP) –


Mike Krzyzewski, who coached the US lineup of NBA stars to Olympic gold at Beijing and London, expects to guide the team again at Rio despite upcoming knee replacement surgery.

The Duke University coach, whose team is among the top-ranked US college squads at 20-6, said Thursday that doctors have told him that he should recover from the operation in plenty of time to coach the Americans for a third time.

"Immediately after the Duke basketball season is completed, I will undergo replacement surgery on my left knee," the 69-year-old Krzyzewski said.

"I have every intention of coaching the United States national team in Rio at the 2016 Olympics."

Gregg Popovich, coach of the NBA San Antonio Spurs, has already been hired to coach the US national team after "Coach K" in the four-year cycle following the Olympics in Brazil this August.

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said he and Krzyzewski never spoke about anyone other than "Coach K" guiding the US Olympic team at Rio.

"I fully expect Coach K to lead the 2016 US Olympic team in Rio," Colangelo said. "I was aware that coach planned to have knee replacement surgery immediately after Duke's season was completed. But at no time have coach and I ever discussed him not coaching the USA national team this summer."