Olympic Sports >> Basketball


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  • 1 men's tournament
  • 1 women's tournament


The first round features 12 teams divided into 2 groups of 6. Qualifiers advance to the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.



James Naismith, a Canadian pastor who moved to the United States, invents basketball to keep the youths he is taking care of distracted during the winter months.


Basketball makes its competitive Olympic debut at the Berlin Games. The United States win all successive Olympic tournaments until the Munich Games in 1972 where the Soviets beat them in a controversial and confused finale.


Historic last second defeat of the US team by the Soviet Union at the Munich Games.


Women make their first competitive appearance with the Soviet Union defeating the US in the final.


American professional players take part for the first time in the Barcelona Games. As widely expected, the American "Dream Team" wins the gold medal.


Wilt Chamberlain (United States)

Mr. Records. 100 points in 1 match in 1962, 55 rebounds in 1 match in 1960, 4,029 points - 50.4 on average - during the 1961-62 season, 2149 rebounds - 27.2 on average - during the 1960-61 season, 4 times MVP (most valuable player), 2 NBA titles with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1967 and the Los Angeles Lakers in 1972.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (United States)

Mr. Points. By far the highest average scorer per game in NBA history with 38.38 pts compared to second placed Karl Malone on 32.91. 6 times NBA champion and 6 times MVP. Began his career known as Lew Alcindor before becoming a Muslim. A 20 year career with the Milwaukee Bucks (1969-75) and LA Lakers (1975-89).

Michael Jordan (United States)

The greatest. 6 NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls, 10 times top scorer, 5 times MVP and 2 Olympic gold medals (1984, 1992). Widely recognised as the greatest player of all time.

Copyright 2012 Agence France-Presse.