Jerry Colangelo Chair and CEO Of the Phoenix Suns To Head U.S. Basketball Team


Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or

(Washington, DC – April 29, 2005) Jerry Colangelo, chairman and CEO of the Phoenix Suns and vice chairman of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), has been named managing director of the USA Basketball Senior Men’s National Team program (2005-2008) by the USA Basketball Executive Committee.

Mr. Colangelo will immediately assume responsibility for the selection of the USA senior men’s team, coaching staffs, and players through 2008 and will oversee the team’s competitive preparations, including training and exhibition games. Through this position, Mr. Colangelo has promised radical changes in an effort to restore United States basketball to international prominence.

“The NIAF congratulates Jerry Colangelo and wishes him every success. He brings a great deal of passion and commitment to the program. We are proud of his efforts and wish him the very best,“ NIAF Chairman Dr. A. Kenneth Ciongoli said.

During Mr. Colangelo’s 37-year tenure in Phoenix, he turned the Phoenix Suns into one of the most successful NBA teams, with the seventh-best all-time winning percentage. He also serves as chairman of the NBA’s Board of Governors. Mr. Colangelo has been ranked among the top 20 most powerful people in U.S. sports by “The Sporting News” and named NBA Executive of the Year four times. In April 2004, he was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Born and raised in Chicago Heights, Ill., he began his basketball career as a teenager, earned all-state recognition and was offered more than five dozen college scholarships. Mr. Colangelo was honored at NIAF’s 1996 Anniversary Awards Gala with the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Sports/Business.

Mr. Colangelo is one of three recently elected NIAF vice chairmen. The elections for the 2005-2009 term were held during NIAF’s March 11 board meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. He has served on the NIAF board since 1997.

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC and dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans. Learn more about our programs and events by visiting