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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 TOTALS 6
228-488
.467
135-202
.668
 
591/ 98.5
OPP. TOTALS 6
132-417
.317
90-146
.616
 
354/ 59.0

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