Ain’t we all curious about the Olympic Medalists in Basketball? Well, this article includes all the players who have been recognized as the Olympic Medalists in the history of basketball. The USA’s Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi are the all-time leaders who took forth the spirit of Olympic medalists in basketball. Both of them have won five gold, while Teresa Edwards has four gold and one bronze.
A list of Seven players has won a total of four medals. The USA’s Lisa Leslie, and Tamika Catchings, each have won four golds with the women’s team. Carmelo Anthony earned three golds and one bronze while being a member of the men’s team. The member of the Soviet Union, Gennadi Volnov has one gold, two silver, and one bronze. While Sergei Belov won one gold and three bronze. The Australians Kristi Harrower and Lauren Jackson both won three silvers and one bronze. Well, Leslie, Bird, Catchings, and Taurasi are the all-time leaders for winning gold medals in a row in basketball.
List of Olympic Medalists in the history of Basketball:
1. First Olympic Medalist in Basketball- Sue Bird
In the Olympics of Tokyo 2020, Sue Bird retired from Olympic basketball with a fifth Olympic gold medal.
In one of the greatest basketball games of all time, the 40-year-old helped the United States clinch towards getting the seventh-straight gold medal in her final games as she leaves with being a living legend. With seven points, three rebounds, three assists, and three turnovers, Bird made the U.S. gain victory over Japan by winning the match with a score of 90–75 in the final. That significantly increased her gold reserves, helping women to match men as they kept winning from the year 1936 to 1968.
Bird contributed towards gaining 33 points, 15 rebounds, 35 assists, 8 turnovers and 7 steals to another stellar Olympic campaign at the Tokyo 2020. She has earned a total of 10 Olympic and World Cup medals, which is merely more than any other men’s or women’s basketball player in history. Out of the 10 medals, nine of them are gold. Sue Bird, the Team USA’s flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony, was the only basketball player ever among men or women, to win five Olympic gold medals along with Diana Taurasi who was her teammate.
2. Second Olympic Medalist in Basketball – Diana Taurasi
An American professional basketball player, Diana Lorena Taurasi. She is a player for the Phoenix Mercury team of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). In the 2004 WNBA draft, she was drafted by Phoenix first overall. In the year 2004, Taurasi won the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award. In the years 2007, 2009, and the year 2014, she won the WNBA championships. Along with a historic record of winning five Olympic gold medals in the years 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020. She has earned a series of awards. To begin with, WNBA Most Valuable Player Award in the year 2009, two WNBA Finals MVP Awards in the years 2009 and 2014, five scoring titles in the years 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, along with winning three FIBA World Cups in the years 2010, 2014, and 2018.
She was named by the league to its 20th and 25th-anniversary teams as she was voted by fans as one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All Time in the year 2011. While also making her way through the WNBA Top 20@20 in the year 2016 and The W25 in the year 2021. She was chosen by the fans as the league’s greatest player of all time in the year 2021. Well, Taurasi also became the WNBA all-time leading scorer and became the first player to cross the 9,000 mark.
Third Olympic Medalist in Basketball – Teresa Edwards
Teresa Edwards is a five-time Olympian who has won four gold medals. She is one of the most honored team sports athletes in the history of the Olympics. She started her Olympic journey at the age of 20. She won her first gold medal at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. Edwards soon added gold medals at the 1987 Pan-American Games, the 1988 Olympic Games, and the 1990 FIBA World Championships because of her stellar performance.
She was a prominent playwright at the University of Georgia, leading the Lady Bulldogs to six SEC championships in total and two to the NCAA Final Four. Edwards polished her game around the world with stops in places like Italy, France, Spain, and Japan after graduation. But she made to sure to return home after every four years, to represent her country in the Olympics. The Georgia native won gold medal number three at the Atlanta Games in the year 1996. Soon after that game, she played skillfully for the Atlanta Glory in the upstart American Basketball League, averaging a total score of over 20 points and 6 assists per game. In the year 2000, Edwards won her final medal in the international competition. It definitely has to be gold – as the first American to compete in the five Olympic Games.
Fourth Olympic Medalist in Basketball – Lisa Leslie
After Teresa Edwards, Lisa Leslie became only the second basketball player ever to win four Olympic gold medals in the year 2008. She was 6 feet and 5 inches tall, she played as the center. That made her, the first player to dunk in the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association), the United States’ women’s pro basketball league founded in the year 1997. Playing for the L.A. Sparks throughout his professional career, Leslie won the WNBA titles in 2001 and 2002. She earned three MVP awards in the year 2001, 2004, and 2006 and was selected to eight All-Star teams. When she retired from the league in the year 2009 and was the all-time leader in points and rebounds.
5th Olympic Medalist in Basketball Tamika Catching
Tamika Catchings has won gold at each of the four Olympic Games between Athens 2004 and Rio 2016, just like her teammates Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi did. She graced her presence as a key player on all teams and served as a loyal servant for her national team for 14 years. Catchings is a legend of women’s basketball without a single speck of doubt.
She has won a series of medals in the history of the Olympics. Started right by being, a four-time Olympian in the years 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016, while also being a four-time Olympic medalist where she won 4 golds. Moving forward, she earned four gold medals each in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Beijing 2008 Olympic GamesLondon 2012 Olympic Games, and Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
6th Olympic Medalist in Basketball – Carmelo Anthony
A Player for the New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony who played as a forward has been loyal to serving the US basketball for 14 years. During his career in NY knicks he competed at four Olympic Games, winning a bronze, at Athens 2004, and three consecutive gold medals thereafter.
Well, He has set a record that no other male basketball player can match. Carmelo also ranks first in the U.S. Olympic men’s team career standings for having played 31 games by scoring 336 points and making field goals of 113. He also attempted 262 field goals, 125 rebounds, attempted three-point field goals of 139, made 53 free throws, and attempted 71 free throws attempted in the history of his career.
7th Olympic Medalist in Basketball – Gennadi Volnov
A Russian basketball player, Gennadi Georgievich Volnov. From the late 1950s to the early 1970s, he played for the senior Soviet Union national basketball team. He was nominated among the 105 players for the list of the 50 greatest Euroleague contributors.
Volnov won the gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games during the time he played with the senior Soviet Union national basketball team. At the Summer Olympics of 1960 and 1964, he won two silver medals. While he also won a bronze medal at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games.
To add to the series of Volnon’s collections, he also won a gold medal at the 1967 FIBA World Championship, a bronze medal at the 1963 FIBA World Championship, and six EuroBasket gold medals in the year 1959, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, and 1969.
8. Sergei Belov
A Russian professional basketball player, Sergei Alexandrovich Belov. He was famously known for playing for CSKA Moscow and the senior Soviet Union national basketball team. He is recognized as one of the best European basketball players in the history of basketball. During the 1980 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, Sergei was given the honor of lighting the Olympic cauldron with the Olympic flame in Moscow.
Belov was honored to be named by FIBA as the Best FIBA Player ever in the year 1991. On an auspicious day of 11 May 1992, he became the first international player to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In the year 2007, he was also inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame. While also being named as one of the 50 Greatest Contributors of the EuroLeague in the year 2008.
He was a member of the senior Soviet Union national basketball team, for nearly fourteen years starting from the year 1967–to 1980, Belov has collectively helped the team win a Summer Olympic Games gold medal in the year1972 and three bronze medals in the years 1968, 1976, and 1980.
9. Kristi Harrower
Kristi Harrower was an active member of the 2000 Summer Olympics team that won a silver medal. When she entered the Olympics, her team was ranked third in the world. Well, Harrower has been a part of the team that has won Olympic Medals over a couple of years. She was a member of the Australian Senior Women’s Team that won a silver medal at the World Championships in Spain in the year 2002. She was also a member of the Australian senior team that won a silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics. At the 2004 Games, she played eight games. At the game, she earned an average score of 8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.
In the year 2006, she was a member and played of the Australian women’s senior team that won a gold medal at the World Championships in Brazil. Well, in a series of her achievements she was named to the national team that would prepare for the 2008 Summer Olympics in March 2007. To end, she was also a member of the 2008 Summer Olympics Australian women’s team that won a silver medal at the Olympics.
10. Lauren Jackson
An Australian professional basketball player, Lauren Elizabeth Jackson. In the year 1997, when Jackson turned 16, she was awarded a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). She led the AIS team, under whom they won the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) championship in the year 1998. When Jackson turned 18, she joined the Canberra Capitals for the 1999 season. She won four WNBL championships while she played off and on with the team. Jackson played with the Canberra Capitals from the year 2010 to 2016.
When Jackson was as young as 14 she formed the Australian under-20 team. She was first called up to the Australian Women’s National Basketball Team and was nicknamed The Opals when she was 16 years old. Her sportive nature made her a member of the 2000 Summer Olympics and 2004 Summer Olympics teams and captain of the 2008 Summer Olympics team. During which she won three silver medals. Later in her career in basketball, she also won the bronze at the 2012 Summer Olympics when she was a part of the Australian team.
In her series of winning awards, she won a silver medal at the 2002 FIBA World Championship for Women in China while being a member of the Australian Senior Women’s Team, she was also the co-captain of the team that won a gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, and then the captain of the team that won a gold medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Women in Brazil.
Also, check our previously published article NBA VS WNBA
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