You Tube Gold: The 1960s US Basketball Team

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The 1960 US Olympic team was one of the great ones, as good as any prior to the Dream Team in 1992.

Just look at the roster: Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Walt Bellamy, Bob Boozer, Terry Dischinger, Darryl Imhoff – and coached by Cal’s Pete Newell.

It was still early for Olympics basketball and the world was nothing like it is today. The US was going to win, no one doubted it.

Still, that’s an overwhelming group and brilliantly coached.

Here’s some video of the team, some of it in practice and some in games. If you pay attention, there’s one play that really sticks out and is repeated: it’s a beautiful, ruthlessly executed fast break. Look for it. It could have come out of today’s NBA.

West and Robertson went on to become all-time legends while several other guys had outstanding NBA careers.

It’s also interesting because it appears that some of the games were outside.

Newell stopped coaching in 1960 on his doctor’s advice which was a real loss to the game. He was a brilliant basketball mind who went on to run Pete Newell’s Big Man Camp where he taught generations of young centers and forwards. One wonders what would have happened if he had coached another 15-20 years in the same conference with John Wooden, who didn’t start his rise until Newell departed.

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JD King


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