My Special Sports Treasure

In 1984, I attended an exhibition basketball game between the men’s Olympic basketball team and a team of Indiana University alumni. The game was held at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana. At the time, this game was nothing more than a simple warm up exhibition game for the Olympic team. However, as time went by, it was more than that.

First, this was the last time that an Olympic team was made up of just college players. Teams after this would be made up of professional players from the National Basketball Association.

Olympic coach Bob Knight had to select a team that would represent the United States, at the games to be held in Los Angeles. 81 players were chosen to select a team from. That team would eventually be trimmed down to 12. Two players that didn’t make the team were Charles Barkley and John Stockton. Both went on to star in the NBA . They would even be in the top 50 NBA players of all time.

This final team was made up of Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Jeff Turner, Leon Wood, Alvin Roberstson, Sam Perkins, Chris Mullin, Joe Kline, Jon Koncak, Vern Flemming,Steve Alford and Wayman Tisdale.

Other notables that didn’t make the team were Karl Malone, Danny Manning, Chuck Person, Terry Porter, Mark Price, Roy Tarpley, Dell Curry and A C Green. These players also starred in the NBA.

Jordan, Ewing and Mullin would go on to become “Dream Team” members at the 1992 games.

The 1984 team would go 8-0 at the Olympic games and bring home the gold medal.

As I entered Assembly Hall that evening I purchased a game program. The program feature each Olympic player on the team. It also had information about the Indiana alumni and a past history of the USA men’s Olympic teams from the past.

At the end of the game, players were allowed to come out and meet briefly with the fans in attendance. I just happened to be there and get many autographs of the players at that time. Little did I know, that many would go on to be big name stars in the NBA.

I still have that program today. Although it is just an old program, it has a lot of value to me. It will add in value as time goes by.

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