COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO (Dec. 21, 2016) – On the heels of impressive performances at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the U.S. Olympic Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams will share the 2016 USA Basketball Team of the Year award.
The USA women captured a sixth-straight Olympic gold medal, while the USA men brought home a third-straight gold.
“The U.S. Olympic Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams achieved incredible milestones in Rio. It was the third consecutive Olympic gold for the men and a record-setting sixth in a row for the women,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO/Executive Director. “Both teams are very deserving of this recognition, and we are grateful for the commitments of everyone involved with these teams.”
2016 marks the 21st time USA Basketball has presented its Team of the Year award, which was established in 1986.
Featuring six players who averaged more than nine points per game, the USA women won eight games by an average of 37.2 points per contest from Aug. 6-20.
“What was special was just how incredibly deep and unselfish we were,” said Geno Auriemma, head coach of the U.S. Olympic Team and USA Women’s National Team and at University of Connecticut, as well as a 2016 USA Basketball Co-National Coach of the Year. “Obviously, we were the most talented team I have ever been around, but everyone was so willing to play their role and to not get caught up in any of the things that can get in the way when lots of good players are on the same team. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had coaching at any level. It’s an experience that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to recreate and that I will never forget.”
Led by four players who averaged double-digit scoring, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team won its eight games by an average of 22.5 points per contest from Aug. 6-21.
“The 2016 USA Basketball Men’s National Team stuck together throughout the Olympics, overcoming significant inexperience in international competition,” said Mike Krzyzewski, head coach of the U.S. Olympic Team and the USA Men’s National Team and at Duke University, as well as a 2016 USA Basketball Co-National Coach of the Year. “Yet, they found a way to win every game. I was most proud that they saved their best for last in the gold medal game versus Serbia. That game showcased their full ability, and to perform that well under the brightest lights in international basketball said a ton about their character, togetherness and passion to represent their country in the best possible manner.”
Led by Auriemma with assistant coaches Doug Bruno, Cheryl Reeve and Dawn Staley, the U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team featured Seimone Augustus, Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, Tina Charles, Elena Delle Donne, Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner, Angel McCoughtry, Maya Moore, Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi and Lindsay Whalen.
“2016 was the best team I have ever been on,” said four-time Olympic gold medalist Taurasi, who was the 2016 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year. “Everyone had one goal and that was to make each other better every day.”
Led by Krzyzewski with assistants Jim Boeheim, Tom Thibodeau and Monty Williams and managing director Jerry Colangelo, the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team featured Carmelo Anthony, Harrison Barnes, Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Draymond Green, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, Kyle Lowry and Klay Thompson.
“I think the special part about it was our comradery,” said Durant, one of the USA’s two captains and a co-recipient of the 2016 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year Award. “All of us still stay in contact to this day, and we were such a tight group. We were brothers from day one. We all wanted the same thing, which was to get a gold medal, and we fought for that. I’ll be forever linked with those guys, and we are always going to be family.”