2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
FIRST PAN AMERICAN GAMES 1951

FIRST PAN AMERICAN GAMES 1951

Buenos Aires, Argentina
February 25 - March 8, 1951


As an international power, the United States was the favorite to win the gold medal at the first Pan American Games, held in 1951 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Behind the expertise of co-coaches Hal Fischer of the AAU Blue 'n Gold (Oakland, CA) and John Longfellow of Indiana State, the USA proved everyone right as it rolled to a 6-0 record and the inaugural Pan American gold medal.

1951 Pan American Team
1951 USA Men's Pan American Games Team


1951 USA RESULTS (6-0)
USA 74 Ecuador 52
USA 77 Cuba 59
USA 90 Panama 55
USA 69 Chile 50
USA 74 Brazil 42
USA 57 Argentina 51

1951 PAN AMERICAN GAMES FINAL STANDINGS

1. USA (5-0) 6. Panama (1-4)*
2. Argentina (4-1) 7. Paraguay (2-1)*
3. Cuba (2-3)* 8. Mexico (2-1)*
4. Brazil (2-3)* 9. Ecuador (2-1)*
5. Chile (1-4)* 10. Colombia (0-3)
*Final standings determined by point differential between tied teams.
NOTE: Records reflect results from final round or consolation round games only.

Selection of the U.S. team may have been the USA's biggest hurdle. With competition slated for February - March, many college student-athletes could not participate because of classes. Because the Games' dates were announced too late for tryouts, the Olympic Basketball Committee decided to select two coach-managers and a team of 14 with seven from the NCAA and seven from the AAU. The committee's first choice to represent the NCAA was the 1950 NCAA tournament champion (NYCC), with the runner-up a second choice. Third choice was the winner of the 1950 NIT Tournament (NYCC) and the winner of the NAIB Tournament was the fourth alternative. After NYCC and Bradley turned down the offer to participate, NAIB champ, Indiana State, accepted. The Phillips Oilers, winners of the national AAU tournament in Denver in 1950, also declined, so the AAU's runner-up team, Blue 'n Gold, agreed to go along with their coach Hal Fischer.

The U.S. team relied on strong rebounding and a fast-break offense to power its offense, and played aggressive man-to-man defense. After defeating its first five opponents rather easily, the average margin of victory in the first five games was over 25 points, the United States faced host Argentina in the final.

Played at 1 a.m., over 25,000 fans packed Luna Park Arena and it was reported thousands more waited outside. The gold medal game appeared to be a run-away as the USA team jetted out to a 26-8 lead. But foul trouble began to slow the Americans and by half the U.S. lead had dwindled to 29-23. Four of the USA's top players fouled out early in the second half (Barksdale, Faszholz, Powell and Leslie) and with just four minutes left, the U.S. held a narrow 50-48 lead. Turning to the stall, the USA team persevered and escaped with a 57-51 win to capture the first men's basketball gold medal of the Pan American Games.

The United States' inaugural Pan American Games team was led by the scoring of Blue 'n Gold team members Donald Barksdale and Charles O'Neill. Barksdale poured in 22.5 ppg., while O'Neill added 10.7 ppg. To this day, Barksdale remains the only USA player to average more than 20 points per game in the Pan American Games.

1951 USA Men's Pan American Games Roster

NAME POS HGT WGT AGE AFFILIATION / SCHOOL HOMETOWN
Roger Adkins G 6-0 168 20 Indiana State Martinsville, IN
Richard Atha G 6-2 185 19 Indiana State Otterbein, IN
Richard Babcock G 6-2 169 28 Indiana State Evansville, IN
Donald Barksdale C 6-6 201 26 Oakland Blue 'n Gold (UCLA) Oakland, CA
Richard Faszholz G 6-5 210 27 Oakland Blue 'n Gold Berkeley, CA
Robert Gilbert F 6-5 192 21 Indiana State Terre Haute, IN
Thomas Kern G 5-8 150 20 Indiana State Elkhart, IN
Eugene Lambdin G 5-11 169 19 Indiana State Elkhart, IN
Kenneth Leslie F 6-2 170 25 Oakland Blue 'n Gold (San Diego) San Francisco, CA
Edward Longfellow G 5-10 151 23 Indiana State Elkhart, IN
Clifford Murray G 6-2 167 19 Indiana State Elkhart, IN
Charles O'Neill G 6-3 180 19 Oakland Blue 'n Gold (Ark. Tech) San Francisco, CA
James Powell F 6-5 190 19 Oakland Blue 'n Gold San Francisco, CA
Neil Turner F 6-4 180 20 Oakland Blue 'n Gold (W. Ken.) San Francisco, CA
CO-HEAD COACH: Hal Fischer, Oakland Blue 'n Gold (CA)
CO-HEAD COACH: John Longfellow, Indiana State University
CAPTAIN: Donald Barksdale

 

1951 USA Men's Pan American Games Cumulative Statistics

  G FGA-FGM PCT FTM-FTA PCT REB/AVG PTS/AVG
Donald Barksdale 6          
135/ 22.5
Charles O'Neill 6          
64/ 10.7
James Powell
6          
51/ 8.5
Kenneth Leslie 6          
44/ 7.3
Robert Gilbert
6          
32/ 5.3
Edward Longfellow 6          
32/ 5.3
Richard Atha
6          
26/ 4.3
Richard Faszholz 6          
15/ 2.5
Neil Turner
3          
7/ 2.3
Richard Babcock 6          
12/ 2.0
Clifford Murray
6          
12/ 2.0
Roger Adkins 5          
9/ 1.8
Thomas Kern
3          
2/ 0.7
Eugene Lambdin 2          
0/ 0.0
USA TOTALS
6          
441/ 73.5
OPP. TOTALS 6          
309/ 51.5