The U.S. has been a part of Olympic basketball since 1936, winning gold in Berlin, the first time basketball was part of the Summer Games. Fast-forward 32 years to the modern era of USA Basketball. An unknown 19-year-old junior college center at the time, Spencer Haywood lit up the scoreboard with 145 points in nine games at the 1968 Mexico City games to lead the underdog U.S. squad to its seventh gold medal.
2 of 13AP
Led by its youngest member, 18-year-old Nancy Lieberman, the U.S. women took silver in the inaugural women's Olympic basketball tournament.
3 of 13Walter Iooss Jr./SI
After a controversial loss in the 1972 Munich Olympics, the U.S. men had more on their mind than Olympic gold: They wanted to beat the Soviets. In the semifinals, the Dean Smith-coached squad did just that, topping the USSR before beating Yugoslavia for the gold in the finals.
4 of 13Manny Millan/SI
The Pat Summit-coached squad topped teams by an average of 32.5 points to waltz to the 1984 gold medal.
5 of 13Getty Images
Bob Knight coached, while Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing led the men to easy victories throughout the 1984 Olympics, prompting Spain's coach to make an interesting offer: "[I asked] my good friend, Bob, if he want my whole team in trade for Pat Ewing and Michael Jordan. He no want." The U.S. won 96-65.
6 of 13Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
As their male counterparts stumbled to bronze, the U.S. women, led by Anne Donovan (pictured), Cynthia Cooper and Theresa Edwards topped Yugoslavia to take gold at the Seoul Olympics.
7 of 13Theo Westenberger/SI
After a landmark decision allowing NBA players to compete in the games, the U.S. fielded its first "Dream Team." Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing brought home the gold, beating Croatia 117-85 in the gold-medal game.
8 of 13David E. Klutho/SI
After some time away from the gold-medal stand, the U.S. women fielded one of the deepest teams in history, winning the gold medal at the Atlanta Games with Dawn Staley, Sheryl Swoopes (7) and Lisa Leslie (9).
9 of 13Manny Millan/SI
The second incarnation of the Dream Team, complete with Charles Barkley (left), Shaquille O'Neal, Grant Hill (right) and big-name NBA stars, rolled their way to a gold.
10 of 13Manny Millan/SI
Kevin Garnett (seated) joined the Dream Team, helping it to its 12th gold medal in men's hoops after a win over France in the finals.
11 of 13Manny Millan/SI
Behind Chamique Holdsclaw, Lisa Leslie (9) and Sheryl Swoopes (7), the U.S. women took home another gold in Sydney.
12 of 13John W. McDonough/SI, Bob Rosato/SI
As the men faltered, Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird led the women to their fourth consecutive gold medal (and fifth overall) in Athens.
13 of 13John W. McDonough
A revamped Team USA took Beijing by storm, earning the nickname "The Redeem Team" and capturing gold for the first time since 2000.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!