The Olympics are beloved for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the chance to cheer on your favorite sport on the world stage. One of the top sports during the Summer Olympics for many fans is basketball, which has been part of the games since 1904 when it was introduced as a demonstrative event.
Basketball became an official medal sport in 1936, and women’s Olympic Basketball made its debut in 1976.
The United States is, without a doubt, the most successful country to compete in Olympic basketball. The U.S. men’s teams have won 15 out of the 18 tournaments they’ve participated in and the women’s teams have won eight out of the 10 tournaments that they competed in.
Aside from the United States, Argentina is the only country that still exists that has won either a women’s or men’s tournament. Yugoslavia, Soviet Union, and the Unified Team also won Olympic tournaments when they were still existent countries.
How does one get ready to cheer on the 2020 teams? Study up on the competitors, choose your favorite, and buy some gear. From hats to shirts to USA basketball socks, you can really show your pride from head to toe.
It was Kansas Jayhawk basketball coach Phog Allen who played a role in organizing the first Olympic basketball tournament in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The Americans proved their dominance by winning all seven Olympic tournaments held until 1968.
The American teams were banned from sending professional players from the NBA, so they sent college players instead. Other countries sent their best players who were classified as “amateur” because they earned allowances rather than wages.
The winning streak for the United States ended in 1972 when the Soviet Union beat the U.S. in the game for the gold medal. The U.S. reclaimed the gold medal in 1976 against Yugoslavia. In 1984, the Americans were back to take the gold home again, but the Soviets reclaimed the gold in 1988 after beating the U.S.
In 1989, NBA players earned approval to compete in international tournaments, including the Summer Olympic games. So, in 1992, the United States’ “Dream Team” took the gold medal with a whopping point margin of 44 points per game. The U.S. repeated their victories in 1996 and 2000.
Women’s Olympic Basketball
The first women’s Olympic basketball tournament was held in 1976, and the Soviet Union won five games in a row to win the gold. After that games followed a six-team round-robin format, then expanded into an eight-team format. Finally, in 1996, the women’s Olympic basketball tournament settled into what is now the current 12-team format, in which the United States team has won all tournaments by winning 48 games in a row.
Are You Ready for the 2020 Olympic Basketball Games?
We all know that when it comes to the Olympic games, every country loves to cheer on their players. You can count on the fact that fans for other teams will be wearing their flag colors and representing player numbers as well. You should be outfitted in your best athletic socks and Team USA gear to get in the spirit.
MadSportsStuff has a large selection USA basketball socks, including American flag basketball socks. One of our most patriotic design is the American Flag Stars and Stripes Crew Sock. This crew length design is perfect for a variety of sports, so you can show off your patriotism on and off the field or court. They’re perfect for Olympic game get togethers. Another patriotic favorite is the USA Flag Basketball Player Crew Sock design.
All MadSportsStuff socks are made with pride right here in the U.S.A. In addition, all of our designs are made with performance materials that feature moisture-wicking, provide ankle and arch compression to reduce fatigue, offer blister control, are lightweight and breathable, and are infused with antimicrobials to reduce bacteria and odor. That’s right, your USA basketball socks are not only basketball classics – they also help you move better and feel better
What to Expect in 2020
In 2017, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee made an announcement about Olympic basketball. They shared that 3x3 basketball would be part of the summer 2020 games. Both men and women games will take place in Tokyo in 2020 at the Saitama Super Arena.
At Rio in 2016, the Olympic basketball games showed us that even with the U.S. sending “B-Team” quality players, the rest of the world still can’t keep up. Even without players like LeBron James and Steph Curry, the United States still readily took the gold medal by 30 points above Serbia. The United States will be trying for their fourth straight gold medal in 2020, but they may have some serious competition.
Who Are the Top Challengers?
Speculation is that there are four countries that could exhibit some serious talent by the time the 2020 games take place. The following teams are believed to be the biggest threats that the U.S. team could face on their way to the gold.
- France – Tony Parker has been one of the main faces for French basketball for a decade, but he has officially retired from the sport. The next generation of French basketball stars could have even more talent.
- Croatia – Bojan Bogdanovic averages 25.3 points per game, which is more than any of the other players in the Rio Olympics. People are saying he has at least one more good run left in him and should help lead Croatia to a successful tournament in 2020.
- Australia – The Aussies barely missed the gold in Rio, and they still have a quality system in place with a good coach, Andrei Lemanis. They still have several veteran players that are expected to return giving the team an advantage in 2020.
- Canada – Although Canada hasn’t even qualified for Olympic basketball since 2000, their young talent base can’t be ignored. Since 2011, there have been at least 10 first-round draft picks from Canada.
Who Will You Be Cheering For in 2020?
When 2020 arrives, MadSportsStuff has basketball socks to help you cheer on your favorite Olympic basketball team. No matter your sock size or your age, styles like our USA basketball socks will have you feeling more patriotic than ever. We have a wide variety of patriotic socks that were proudly made in the U.S., but we can design custom basketball socks to match any team that you want to cheer on.