1960 United States men's Olympic basketball team

The 1960 United States men's Olympic basketball team competed in the Games of the XVII Olympiad in Rome, Italy, representing the United States of America.

1960 United States men's Olympic basketball team
Head coachPete Newell
1960 Summer Olympics
Scoring leaderUnited States Oscar Robertson
← 1956
1964 →

The USA team, coached by California Golden Bears head coach Pete Newell, dominated the competition, winning its games by an average of 42.4 points per game. The team is considered by many to be the best amateur level basketball team of all time, and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a unit, in 2010.

Roster edit

United States men's national basketball team – 1960 Summer Olympics roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Age – Date of birth Height Club Ctr.
G 13 Jay Arnette 21 – (1938-12-19)December 19, 1938 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) Texas  
C 4 Walt Bellamy 21 – (1939-07-24)July 24, 1939 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) Indiana  
F 5 Bob Boozer 23 – (1937-04-26)April 26, 1937 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) Peoria Caterpillars  
F 6 Terry Dischinger 19 – (1940-11-21)November 21, 1940 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) Purdue  
F 7 Burdette Haldorson 26 – (1934-01-12)January 12, 1934 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) Phillips 66ers  
C 8 Darrall Imhoff 21 – (1938-10-11)October 11, 1938 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) California  
G 9 Allen Kelley 27 – (1932-12-24)December 24, 1932 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) Peoria Caterpillars  
G 10 Lester Lane 28 – (1932-03-06)March 6, 1932 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Wichita Vickers  
F 11 Jerry Lucas 20 – (1940-03-30)March 30, 1940 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) Ohio State  
F 14 Oscar Robertson 21 – (1938-11-24)November 24, 1938 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) Cincinnati  
G 12 Adrian Smith 23 – (1936-10-05)October 5, 1936 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) U.S. Armed Forces  
G 3 Jerry West 22 – (1938-05-28)May 28, 1938 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) West Virginia  
Head coach
  Pete Newell
  • Club – describes last
    club before the tournament
  • Age – describes age
    on August 26, 1960
  • Source: [1]

Olympic trials edit

Trials for the team were held in March and April 1960, in Denver, at the Denver Coliseum. The trials were conducted in the form of an eight team tournament, including teams from the reigning NCAA National Champions, the Ohio State Buckeyes, a team of NCAA All-Stars featuring stars such as Jerry West and Oscar Robertson, an NAIA All-Star team, and the AAU Champions, the Peoria Caterpillar Cats. The NCAA All-Stars won the competition convincingly, and so Pete Newell was named the team's head coach, with Warren Womble as his assistant.

The trials came at a time when the AAU and NCAA were wrestling for control of USA Basketball, and the make-up of the team represented that uneasy truce, as the team was made up of seven collegiate stars, four AAU players, and one representative of the US Armed Forces (guard Adrian Smith). This compromise meant that many top college players were left off the team, including Ohio State's John Havlicek and Providence guard Lenny Wilkens.[2]

Olympic tournament edit

The team went 8–0 in the Olympic basketball tournament,[3] held in Rome, averaging 101.9 points per game and holding their opponents to 59.5. Five Americans averaged double-figures in scoring - Oscar Robertson (17.3), Jerry Lucas (16.8), Jerry West (14.1), Terry Dischinger (11.3) and Adrian Smith (10.9).[4] Lucas was the star of the medal round, as he scored 21 points in the gold medal game against Brazil,[5] after having scored 26 points in the previous game against host Italy.[6]

Results edit

Legacy edit

The 1960 team is thought to be one of the best amateur sports teams in basketball history. Nine members of the squad went on to play in the NBA and four players from the team - Robertson, Lucas, West and Walt Bellamy, have individually been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, as have head coach Pete Newell and Dutch Lonborg, who was on Newell's staff as team manager. Other career distinctions by team members include Robertson's League MVP Award in 1963-64. Dischinger's 1963 NBA Rookie of the Year Award (an award also received by Robertson (1961), Bellamy (1962), and Lucas(1964), Adrian Smith's NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1966, and West's NBA Finals MVP in 1969. Eight members were selected to at least one NBA All-Star Game (Bob Boozer, Darrall Imhoff and Adrian Smith were NBA All-Star Game participants during their careers. In total, there were 43 All-Star berths amongst the teammates. The team was elected to the US Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984.

In 2010, along with the "Dream Team," the 1960 US Olympic men's basketball team was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a unit. The election marks only the seventh and eighth teams so honored.[7]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ ""1960 USA Men's Olympic Games Roster". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on January 3, 2010.
  2. ^ Cunningham, Carson (2009). American Hoops: U.S. Men's Olympic Basketball From Berlin to Beijing. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 978-0-8032-2293-9.
  3. ^ "1960 USA Men's Olympic Games Roster Archived 2010-01-03 at the Wayback Machine." usabasketball.com. Retrieved on April 6, 2010.
  4. ^ 1960 Olympic Games : Tournament for Men.
  5. ^ Game: BRAZIL vs USA (Group 1) Date: 10 September 1960.
  6. ^ Game: USA vs ITALY (Group 1) Date: 8 September 1960.
  7. ^ "Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2010 Archived 2010-04-09 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on April 11, 2010.

External links edit