U.S. Men's and Women's Olympic Teams Share USA Basketball's 2008 Team Of The Year Honor
Colorado Springs, Colo.- Jan. 7, 2008
In recognition of their respective gold medal performances at the 2008 Olympics, finishes that also qualified both the USA men and women for the 2010 FIBA World Championships, USA Basketball today announced its Board of Directors has chosen the 2008 U.S. Men's and Women's Olympic Teams as co-recipients of the 2008 USA Basketball Team of the Year honor.
'Double gold in the Olympics is a very special accomplishment, and it is something that is not easily achieved,' said Jerry Colangelo, 2009-20012 Chair of the USA Basketball Board of Directors. 'Coach Donovan and Coach Krzyzewski, their staffs and the players are being recognized for their gold medal performances. Both teams represented the United States in the highest manner possible and have set a very high standard for future teams to strive for.'
The 2008 U.S. Women's Olympic Team captured the USA's fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal after topping opponents by an average of 37.6 points per game, while the U.S. Men's Olympic Team returned to the top of the Olympic podium for since the 2000 Olympics, defeating its opponents along the way by an average of
27.8 points per game.
'What an incredible team we had this year, I'm so proud of them for all they've accomplished,' said USA women's head coach Anne Donovan. 'Not only for winning the gold medal in Beijing, that was the goal all along, but for all the hard work, hours of practice and time everyone put into the gold medal effort. It was a special team and I'm honored to have been a part of it.'
'The selection of both teams for this award once again demonstrates what can be accomplished when individuals put aside their egos and instead trust in one another and embrace becoming a cohesive team,' said USA and Duke University head coach Mike Krzyzewski. 'Obtaining our goal of winning Olympic gold was important but so was doing it in a manner so basketball fans would appreciate and acknowledge this team for doing it the right way.'
USA Basketball will submit both teams for the U.S. Olympic Committee's 2008 Team of the Year award, which is expected to be announced by the USOC in January.
'Every American can be proud of both the U.S. Men's and Women's Olympic Basketball Teams,' said USA Basketball Executive Director Jim Tooley. 'Their respective performances this past summer were exceptional. The players and coaches understood what it meant to represent our country in a dignified manner ... on and off the court. Both teams inspired pride in all of us.'
U.S. Men Olympic Team & U.S. Women's Olympic Team 2007
USA Men's Senior National Team & USA Women's National Team 2006
USA Men's Senior National Team / USA World Championship Team 2005
USA FIBA U19 World Championship for Women Team 2004
USA Women's Senior National Team / U.S. Olympic Team 2003
USA World Championship For Young Women Team 2002
USA Women's FIBA World Championship Team 2001
USA FIBA World Championship For Young Men Team 2000
USA Women's Senior National Team / U.S. Olympic Team 1999
USA Men's Tournament of the Americas Team 1998
USA Women's FIBA World Championship Team 1997
USA Women's FIBA Junior World Championship Team 1996
USA Women's Senior National Team / U.S. Olympic Team
Jesse D. Garrabrant / NBAE / Getty Images
In claiming the Olympic gold, the USA featured a true team that was 12 deep. Five players finished with double digit scoring averages and eight players averaged between 16.0 ppg. and 8.0 ppg. The USA's offensive effort was paced by Wade, 16.0 ppg.; James, 15.5 ppg.; Bryant, 15.0 ppg.; Anthony, 11.5 ppg.; and Howard, 10.9 ppg. Bosh added 9.1 ppg., and Williams and Paul each contributed 8.0 ppg. Bosh led the USA's rebounding with 6.1 boards a game, while Howard added 5.8 rpg., James averaged 5.3 rpg. and Anthony hauled in another 4.2 rpg. The USA shared the ball well as was evident by the assists averages: Paul, 4.1 apg.; James, 3.8 apg.; Williams, 2.8 apg.; Bryant, 2.1 apg.; and Kidd, 2.0 apg.
Among the 12 teams, the USA finished ranked first in 11of 19 team statistical categories, and ranked second in another four statistical categories. The U.S. led the field in scoring offense (106.2), scoring margin (+27.8), field goal percentage (.550), defensive field goal percentage (.403), defensive 3-point field goal percentage (.299), rebounding (41.5), defensive rebounds (29.63), assists (18.75), steals (12.13), blocked shots (3.88) and assist/turnover ratio (+1.36).
Despite playing fewer minutes across the board than members of other teams, U.S. players were heavily sprinkled in among the statistical leaders for the tournament. Wade ranked ninth in scoring, James was 11th, Bryant 12th and Anthony listed 27th. Bosh and Howard listed one-two for field goal percentage, with Wade fourth and James ninth. Bosh, James and Howard ranked 11th, 13th and 16th, respectively, for rebounding. Among assists leaders, Paul ranked fourth, James sixth and Williams,13th. James ranked fourth in steals, while Paul and Wade were tied for fifth in steals. James ranked seventh in blocked shots and was joined in the top 10 by Howard, eighth, and Bosh, 10th. Bryant listed fifth in 3-point field goals made and Anthony ranked 15th, while Wade listed 12th for 3-point percentage and James was right behind in 13th. Finally, Paul finished third in assist/turnover ratio and James was fifth.
As a team, the U.S. set single game USA Olympic records for 3-point field goals made and attempted, while individual game marks were set by Anthony for made free throws and highest free throw percentage. Wade's 27 point explosion against Spain in the gold medal clash ranks as the sixth (tied) highest single game scoring effort.
The USA established new U.S. Olympic competition records for 3-point field goals made and attempted, while Bosh's overall field goal percentage ranks second best, and Howard lists third. Prince finds himself ranked fourth for 3-point field goal percentage, and James is tied for fourth for steals.
Several members of the 2008 team earned a spot among the USA's career leaders for the Olympics. James, Kidd and Wade join nine other players who are tied for second for games played with 16. Wade's 186 points scored in two Olympics ranks him fifth, and James lists eighth with 167. Boozer's 64 career rebounds ranks tied for seventh, while Kidd's 63 boards are ninth. Bosh and Howard rank first and second for field goal percentage, and Prince lists third for 3-point percentage. Paul is tied for seventh for free throw percentage, while Kidd moved into seventh for assists and James is listed eighth. James ranks tied for sixth for blocked shots, and Howard is tied for eighth in blocks. Wade is listed third for steals (35) and James ranks seventh (25).
With the gold medal effort, Kidd became just the 13th U.S. male player in history to collect two gold medals; while Kidd, Anthony, Boozer, James and Wade now belong to a small group of just 18 two-time U.S. Olympic basketball team members.
Garret Ellwood / NBAE / Getty Images
The 2008 U.S. Women's Olympic Team included Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky), Kara Lawson (Sacramento Monarchs), Lisa Leslie (Los Angeles Sparks); DeLisha Milton-Jones (Los Angeles Sparks), Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks), Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix Mercury), Katie Smith (Detroit Shock), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) and Tina Thompson (former Houston Comets).
Having also won Olympic gold medals as a player in 1984 and 1988 and as an assistant coach in 2004, Donovan's 2008 medal made her the first person in USA Basketball history to be a part of Olympic gold medal winning teams as both and athlete and head coach. She was assisted by University of Texas head coach Gail Goestenkors, an assistant on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team staff; three-time Olympic gold medalist and University of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley; and Connecticut Sun head coach Mike Thibault.
Leslie joined five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards as the only athlete, male or female, to capture four Olympic basketball gold medals, and the first to capture four Olympic golds in succession. Edwards' four golds (1984, 1988, 1996, 2000) were interrupted in 1992 with a bronze medal. Additionally, Smith earned her third Olympic gold medal, while Bird, Catchings, Milton-Jones, Taurasi and Thompson earned their second and Augustus, Fowles, Lawson and Parker brought home their first Olympic gold medals.
Making the USA's gold medal run even more impressive was the fact that the U.S. had limited time to train together. Prior to its first game on Aug. 9, the team had nine days of practice together as a full 12-member unit.
The deep USA Basketball team featured four players who averaged double-digit scoring and five more who averaged 6.4 points a game or more. Leading the way was Fowles, who came off the bench to pace the team in scoring (13.4 ppg.), rebounding (8.4 rpg.) and field goal percentage (.643). USA veterans Thompson (12.8 ppg.), Taurasi (10.9 ppg.) and Leslie (10.1 ppg.) also averaged in double digits for scoring, while Leslie finished as the team's second leading rebounder (7.0 rpg.) and top shot blocker (11). Additionally, Taurasi went a perfect 15-of-15 from the line during the tournament, Catchings led the team for field goal percentage (.724), Taurasi shot a sizzling 42.9 (12-28 3pt FGs) from 3-point range and Lawson passed out a team-high 3.0 apg.
As a team the U.S. ranked first among all 12 nations for scoring (94.2), scoring defense (56.6), scoring margin (+37.6), field goal percentage (.542), defensive field goal percentage (.339), rebounding defense (30.4), assists (18.25), turnover margin (+6.88), assist to turnover ratio (1.39) and defensive rebounds per game (29.38); while ranking second for 3-point field goal percentage (.400), defensive 3-point field goal percentage (.282), rebounding offense (43.0), rebounding margin (+12.6), blocked shots (3.88) and steals (10.25).
Fowles finished ranked 11th overall in the tournament for scoring and several of her teammates listed among the top 10 in various statistical categories. Fowles and Leslie ranked fifth and 10th, respectively, for rebounds. The USA placed four names among the top 10 for field goal percentage, including No. 1 Fowles. Parker finished second (.614), Leslie in fourth (.576) and Thompson was 10th (.494). Lawson ranked fourth for assists; Bird and Catchings tied for seventh for steals (1.75 spg.); Lawson ranked first for 3-point field goal percentage (.571), while Taurasi was ninth (.429) in that category; Taurasi ranked ninth for 3-point field goals made per game (1.5); Leslie ranked second for blocked shots (1.38 bpg.), with Fowles ranked eighth (0.88 bpg.); and Lawson led the field for assist to turnover ratio (3.43).