The Tokyo Olympics begin on July 23rd, and when they do, there will be plenty of Orange represented. Four former Syracuse athletes will represent their countries in Tokyo. They are as follows:
Kayla Alexander: Syracuse women's basketball's all-time leading scorer, Alexander will make her Olympic debut for Canada. Canada is ranked fourth in the world by FIBA and is considered a legitimate medal contender. Alexander graduated from Syracuse in 2013. She averaged 15.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game for her Orange career. She was selected in the first round of the 2013 WNBA Draft and has spent eight seasons in the league.
Jerami Grant: Grant will play for Team USA men's basketball team in Tokyo. He had the 12 man roster following a super season for the Detroit Pistons in which he set a career high in points per game (22.3), assists per game (2.8) and minutes (33.9). This follows a three year, $60 million free agent deal with the Pistons. Grant played for Syracuse for two season from 2012-2014. He averaged 7.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during his career.
Justin Knight: Knight, a former Syracuse cross country and track star, is one of the most decorated athletes in ACC history. Knight is a 16-time ACC Champion including 11 times individually. He also won two National Championships while at SU. Knight made the Canadian Olympic Team in the 5,000 meter event.
Katie Zaferes: Zaferes will compete for Team USA in the triathlon in Tokyo. She is one of five triathletes to be selected to represent the United States. Zaferes won the 2019 International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championship, and will now try to add an Olympic medal to her resume.
Syracuse already claims the most accomplished men's basketball Olympian of all time in Carmelo Anthony. Anthony is a four time Olympian who won three gold medals in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Anthony is the US men's Olympic basketball career leader in games played, points, field goals made, field goals attempted, rebounds and free throws.
"Most athletes don’t have an opportunity to say that they won a gold medal, better yet three gold medals,” Anthony said via Olympics.com. “I would be very happy walking away from the game knowing that I’ve given the game everything I have, knowing I played on a high level at every level: high school, college, won in college and three gold medals. I can look back on it when my career is over — if I don’t have an NBA championship ring — and say I had a great career.
"It was a special moment for me. I know this is the end (the 2016 games). This is it for me. I committed to something… I committed to this in ’04. I’ve seen the worst, and I’ve seen the best. And I stuck with it. We stuck with it. And I’m here today, three gold medals later. We fought. It wasn't always pretty."