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1959 USA Men's Pan American Games Team

THIRD PAN AMERICAN GAMES 1959

  • Date:
    Jun 10, 2010

Chicago, Illinois, USA • August 27 - September 7, 1959


Held in Chicago, Illinois, 1959 marked the first time that the Pan American Games were held in the USA. Coach Fred Schaus of West Virginia and his 14-member squad marched through the competition with a perfect 6-0 record to capture the USA's third consecutive Pan American Games basketball gold.


1959 USA RESULTS (6-0) 

USA   93 Canada 73
USA   89 Puerto Rico 57
USA 114 Cuba 46
USA 101 El Salvador 42
USA 101 Mexico 57
USA   93 Brazil 79

1959 PAN AMERICAN GAMES FINAL STANDINGS

1. United States (6-0)
2. Puerto Rico (4-2)*
3. Brazil (4-2)*
4. Mexico (4-2)*
5. Canada (2-4)
6. Cuba (1-5)
7. El Salvador (0-6)
*Final standings determined by point differential between tied teams.

For the first time in Pan American Games competition, the USA team was selected in the same manner as the 1956 U.S. Olympic team was. Two all-star teams, one of college players selected by a special committee at the end of the NCAA Tournament, and a service squad chosen after the inter-service tournament, plus the first two teams in the National AAU Tournament, met in a three night round-robin tournament.

The college all-stars topped the competition with a 3-0 record, and were followed by the AAU Phillips 66ers (2-1), Wichita Vickers (1-2), and the Armed Forces (0-3). The two AAU teams had been further strengthened by the addition of players from other AAU teams that competed in the AAU Tournament. From the tryout, five collegians were selected, three players from the U.S. Armed Forces and six players from AAU teams were named to the 1959 U.S. Pan American Games roster. Schaus, who directed the College All-Stars, was named head coach and Warren Womble of the AAU Peoria Caterpillars, who had served as head coach of the 1952 USA Olympic team, served as Schaus' assistant.

Led by then standout collegians and future NBA legends Oscar Robertson and Jerry West, the closest any team came to the United States was 14 points when Brazil fell to the U.S. men 93-79 in the final contest. Boasting a high powered offense, the USA team also featured a solid defense which limited four of its six opponents to under 58 points. The U.S. squad won their six games by an average of 39.5 points.

Opening against Canada, Robertson scored 21 points and West added 15 more as the U.S. earned a 93-73 victory. A balanced offensive attack that saw 13 of 14 USA players score, lifted the Americans past Puerto Rico 89-57. Cuba was no problem as the U.S., behind 19 points from Daniel Swartz, sailed to a 114-46 win, and El Salvador fell 101-42 to the USA squad as Burdette Haldorson led the U.S. with 14 points. Mexico was next to fall as Jack Adams tossed in 15 points in the USA's 101-57 win.

In its closest encounter, a 93-79 victory, the U.S. broke open its contest with Brazil early, commanding a 11-4 lead after just four minutes, a 27-11 advantage after 10 minutes and a 51-35 lead at halftime. The 'Big O' (Robertson) led the U.S. with 29 points and played just three quarters, while George BonSalle added 19 points, and West and Gary Thompson each scored 11.

The 6'5' Robertson, a three-time college All-American at Cincinnati (1958-60) led the team in scoring, averaging 16.5 ppg., while the 6'3' West, a two-time college All-American at West Virginia (1959-60), averaged 11.3 ppg. and Swartz also averaged in double figures for the USA, at 10.2 ppg.

1959 USA PAN AMERICAN MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM ROSTER

NAME POS HGT WGT AGE AFFILIATION / SCHOOL HOMETOWN
Jack Adams G 6-4 184 24 U.S. Armed Forces (E. Kentucky) London, KY
George BonSalle C 6-8 225 24 Phillips 66ers (Illinois) Chicago, IL
Robert Boozer C 6-8 220 21 Kansas State University Omaha, NE
Richard Boushka F 6-5 220 25 Wichita Vickers (St. Louis) St. Louis, MO
Leo Byrd G 6-1 170 21 Marshall University Huntington, WV
William Evans G 6-1 170  
Phillips 66ers (Kentucky) Berea, KY
Donald Goldstein F 6-5 185 22 University of Louisville New York, NY
Burdette Haldorson F 6-8 207 25 Phillips 66ers (Colorado) Austin, MN
Robert Jeangerard F 6-3 197 26 U.S. Armed Forces (Colorado) Wilmette, IL
Oscar Robertson F 6-5 197 20 Cincinnati University Indianapolis, IN
Adrian Smith G 6-0 175 22 U.S. Armed Forces (Kentucky) Farmington, KY
Daniel Swartz F 6-4 190 24 Wichita Vickers (Morehead State) Owingsville, KY
Gary Thompson G 5-10 160 23 Chicago Jamaco Saints (Iowa St.) Roland, IA
Jerry West G 6-3 175 20 West Virginia University Cabin Creek, WV
HEAD COACH: Fred Schaus, West Virginia University
ASSISTANT COACH: Warren Womble, Peoria Caterpillars
MANAGER: William Dye, University of Washington

1959 USA PAN AMERICAN MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS

  G FGM-FGA PCT FTM-FTA PCT REB/AVG PTS/AVG
Oscar Robertson 6 38- 66 .576 23- 33 .697   99/ 16.5
Jerry West 6 25- 59 .424 18- 26 .692   68/ 11.3
Daniel Swartz 6 22- 47 .468 17- 22 .773   61/ 10.2
George BonSalle 6 20- 43 .465 12- 15 .800   52/ 8.7
Jack Adams 6 19- 36 .528 13- 19 .684   51/ 8.5
Burdette Haldorson 6 18- 47 .383 14- 20 .700   50/ 8.3
Robert Boozer 6 20- 43 .465 6- 15 .400   46/ 7.7
Gary Thompson 6 18- 38 .474 7- 9 .778   43/ 7.2
Richard Boushka 5 12- 28 .429 9- 15 .600   33/ 6.6
Adrian Smith 5 12- 17 .706 7- 8 .875   31/ 6.2
William Evans 5 10- 18 .556 3- 9 .333   23/ 4.6
Robert Jeangerard 4 7- 17 .412 3- 4 .750   17/ 4.3
Leo Byrd 4 4- 9 .444 2- 4 .500   10/ 2.5
Donald Goldstein 4 3- 20 .150 1- 3 .333   7/ 1.8
USA
6 228-488 .467 135-202 .668   591/ 98.5
OPP.
6 132-417 .317 90-146 .616   354/ 59.0

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