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1963 USA Men's Pan American Games Team

FOURTH PAN AMERICAN GAMES -- 1963

  • Date:
    Jun 10, 2010

Sao Paulo, Brazil • April 20 - May 5, 1963


The United States entered the 1963 Pan American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with the goal of winning the USA's fourth gold medal in as many tries. Winning six games by an average margin of almost 30 points, the USA successfully defended its championship, captured the gold medal, and extended its Pan American Games winning streak to 15 consecutive games. But, as had been the case in each of the previous Pan American Games, the USA's gold medal did not come easily.


1963 USA RESULTS (6-0) 
USA   93 Puerto Rico 65
USA   80 Canada 47
USA 104 Peru 56
USA   65 Uruguay 52
USA   96 Mexico 54
USA   78 Brazil 66
1963 PAN AMERICAN GAMES FINAL STANDINGS
1. USA (6-0) 5. Peru (2-4)*
2. Brazil (5-1) 6. Canada (1-5)*
3. Puerto Rico (4-2) 7. Mexico (1-5)*
4. Uruguay (2-4)*
*Final standings determined by results between tied teams.

Head coach Garland Pinholster of Oglethorpe (GA) University guided the squad to one impressive win after another. The closest contest for the American cagers in their six games was a 12-point victory over Brazil.

Opening against Puerto Rico, 6'8' Ohio State junior all-American Gary Bradds scored a team high 17 points and 6'10' future NBA all-star Willis Reed tossed in 15 points as the U.S. handled Puerto Rico 93-65.

Behind a 14-point effort from Bradds and 12 points from both Melvin Peterson and Jerry Shipp, the U.S. ran by Canada 80-47. Shipp and 6'4' Edgar Smallwood accounted for 18 and 14 points, respectively, as the Americans overwhelmed Peru 104-56. A balanced scoring effort that saw every USA player score was key in the USA's 65-52 win over Uruguay, and Mexico was little problem as Shipp and Lucious Jackson each scored 18 points to pace the U.S. to its 96-54 win.

Facing host Brazil in the final, it was reported that an estimated 30,000 fans jammed the 18,500 capacity stadium for the gold medal game. Leading by five points at half, 36-31, the U.S. team pulled away in the third quarter and went on to record a 78-66 victory. Shipp led the USA with a game high 22 points, however, it was the smallest member of the U.S. squad, 5'8' Vincent Ernst of Providence College, who was credited for paving the way for the U.S. victory over Brazil. Scoring a total of 24 points in the USA's first five games, Ernst accounted for 12 points in the final and was credited with numerous assists and steals, while limiting Brazil's two-time Olympian Wlamir Marques to just six points in the first three quarters of play.

However, the game was not without controversy. Following a scuffle between a Brazilian and USA player late in the game, the crowd proceeded to litter the floor with oranges, paper, ice cream cones and other debris delaying the game's conclusion.

The 6'6' Shipp and 6'6' Donald Kojis led the gold medal winners averaging 15.0 ppg. and 11.5 ppg., respectively, while 6'8' Bradds, 6'3' Melvin Gibson and Reed rounded out the USA balanced offensive attack. Unfortunately, Walter Torrence was forced to return to the United States after playing in the first three games of the tournament because of a death in the family.

1963 USA PAN AMERICAN MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM ROSTER

NAME POS HGT WGT AGE AFFILIATION / SCHOOL HOMETOWN
Bunk Adams G 6-3 205 23 U.S. Armed Forces (Ohio) Toledo, OH
Gary Bradds C 6-8 208 22 Ohio State University Jamestown, OH
Vincent Ernst G 5-8 165 21 Providence College Jersey City, NJ
Melvin Gibson G 6-3 180 22 Western Carolina University Rockingham, NC
Lucious Jackson C 6-9 230 22 Pan American University Beaumont, TX
Donald Kojis F 6-6 200 24 Phillips 66ers (Marquette) West Allis, WI
Cleveland McKinney G 6-3 190 21 U.S. Armed Forces (McClymond HS) Oakland, CA
Melvin Peterson F 6-5 190 25 U.S. Armed Forces (Wheaton) Wallace, MI
Willis Reed C 6-10 245 20 Grambling State University Bernice, LA
Jerry Shipp F 6-6 165 28 Phillips 66ers (SE Okla. State) Blue, OK
Edgar Smallwood F 6-4 190 25 U.S. Armed Forces (Evansville) Louisville, KY
Walter Torrence G 6-2 180 26 U.S. Armed Forces (UCLA) Sacramento, CA
HEAD COACH: Garland Pinholster, Oglethorpe University (GA)
ASSISTANT COACH: Henry Vaughn, Akron Goodyears (OH)
MANAGER: Robert Brown, West Virginia University

1963 USA PAN AMERICAN MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS

  G FGM-FGA PCT FTM-FTA PCT PTS/AVG
Jerry Shipp 6 42-   6- 8 .750 90/ 15.0
Donald Kojis 6 27-   15- 25 .600 69/ 11.5
Gary Bradds 6 19-   16- 22 .727 54/ 9.0
Melvin Gibson 6 18-   15- 21 .714 51/ 8.5
Willis Reed 6 20-   11- 16 .688 51/ 8.5
Melvin Peterson 6 17-   8- 12 .667 42/ 7.0
Lucious Jackson 6 19-   3- 10 .300 41/ 6.8
Vincent Ernst 6 14-   8- 10 .800 36/ 6.0
Walter Torrence 3 5-   8- 11 .727 18/ 6.0
Edgar Smallwood 6 13-   6- 6 1.000 32/ 5.3
Cleveland McKinney 6 12-   0- 0 .000 24/ 4.0
Bunk Adams 6 1-   6- 13 .462 8/ 1.3
USA 6 207-   102-154 .662 516/ 86.0
OPP. 6 132-   76-117 .650 340/ 56.7

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