Started in 1951 for men and 1955 for women, the Pan American Games are held every four years (2019, 2023, etc.) in the year preceding the Olympics and organized by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO). The Pan American Games is a multi-sport competition open to men and women representing countries from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. Overall, the Americans have earned eight gold, three silver and three bronze medals, and compiled a record of 90-17. The next Pan Am Games will be held Oct. 22-Nov. 5, 2023, in Santiago, Chile.
The 2015 Pan American Games were held in Toronto, Canada, and after to losing in overtime to host Canada in the semifinals, the U.S. men fought back from a 21-point, third-quarter deficit to take home the bronze medal. In 2019 a team from the Big East Conference represented the USA.
Many USA Basketball athletes who have been selected to a Pan American Games team have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games, while many others enjoyed stellar professional careers. In all, 34 Pan Am athletes have been a member of a U.S. Olympic squad, including Ernie Grunfeld, Grant Hill, Luscious Jackson, Michael Jordan, Christian Laettner, Danny Manning, Chris Mullin, Emeka Okafor, Sam Perkins, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Isiah Thomas, Jerry West and Jo Jo White.