All-time Olympic scoring champ heads to Hall of Fame

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All-time Olympic basketball scoring champ Oscar Schmidt of Brazil was officially announced for induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Monday alongside Rick Pitino, Bernard King, Gary Payton, and UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian.

Schmidt may never have played in the NBA, and didn’t even win an Olympic medal in his five tries between 1980 and 1996. But many believe the Brazilian star’s scoring exploits against the U.S. were partly to blame for the creation of the famous 1992 Barcelona Dream Team.

That’s because Oscar led his national team to an upset of the U.S. on their home soil at the 1987 Pan-Am Games in Indianapolis. That night the legendary Brazilian scored 48 points in a 120-115 gold medal win over a team that included NBA No. 1 overall picks David Robinson, Danny Manning, and Pervis Ellison.

Oscar himself was drafted by the New Jersey in the sixth round of the 1984 draft, but turned down the Nets to instead play in Italy and later Brazil, where he accumulated 49,737 career points.

Oscar earned some amount of fame in 1992 when Charles Barkley was regularly asked about the Brazilian’s scoring. At the time, the future NBA MVP claimed to not be scared of Oscar, and often made fun of the attention he received. But Barkley has since said he has a great deal of respect for Oscar, who scored 24 points as a “35-year-old second stringer” in his game against the Dream Team, and another 26 in 1996.

Oscar still holds the record for most points all-time in the Olympics with 1093, and for most points averaged during an Olympics when he put up 42.3 per game in Seoul. He’s the only player ever to eclipse 1,000 in an Olympic career and was also a seven-time scoring champ in the Italian leagues.

Ryan Lochte, with new coach, races in first meet since Olympics

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Ryan Lochte is back in the competition pool.

The 12-time Olympic medalist, suspended from USA Swimming and international meets through June, won a 200-yard individual medley at the U.S. Masters nationals in Riverside, Calif., on Friday. He also finished second in a 100-yard breaststroke.

Full results are here.

Lochte has moved to the Los Angeles area and is now coached by the University of Southern California’s Dave Salo until his fiancée’s baby is born (likely June). After that, they will re-evaluate his plan, Salo said.

Lochte was formerly coached by Gregg Troy from 2002-13 at the University of Florida, where he attended college and matured to become an Olympian in 2004. Lochte won 11 Olympic medals under Troy and became the world’s best swimmer going into the 2012 Olympics.

In 2013, Lochte moved from Gainesville to Charlotte and trained under David Marsh through the Rio Games. Lochte said last summer that he planned to move to California.

Lochte has also said he plans to try for a fifth Olympics in 2020, but his immediate future is about to get very busy — becoming a father, becoming a husband and the end of his ban.

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Jesse Owens’ Olympic gold medals up for auction

Jesse Owens
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Two of Jesse Owens‘ four 1936 Berlin Olympic gold medals will be auctioned in August, according to Heritage Auctions.

Owens won four gold medals at the Berlin Games, triumphing in the face of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany by taking the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump.

Owens gifted one gold medal to entertainer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, according to “Mr. Bojangles: The Biography of Bill Robinson.”

That medal was auctioned for in 2013 for $1,466,574, the highest price ever for a piece of Olympic memorabilia.

Owens used his three other Olympic golds as payment for a Pittsburgh hotel stay in the mid-1950s, according to “Intelligent Collector,” a magazine affiliated with Heritage Auctions, which is housing the August auction with Owens’ medals.

“Jesse didn’t have the financial means to pay for his stay at Mr. Harry Bailey’s hotel,” said Albert DeVito, son of a local handyman who ended up with the two gold medals being auctioned, according to the magazine. “So he gave his medals to Harry as his payment for expenses incurred.”

DeVito’s father was later gifted the three gold medals by the hotel owner Bailey for previously lending him money. DeVito’s father kept two and gave back to Bailey one gold medal whose whereabouts are unknown, according to the magazine.

DeVito thought to sell the remaining two gold medals after seeing the 2013 auction.

“It wasn’t until that first gold medal sold that we even thought, ‘Oh, my goodness. These things are worth something!'” DeVito said, according to the magazine.

It’s unknown which of the gold medals corresponds to which Olympic event, as they are not specified on the medals.

Before Owens’ death in 1980, the sprinter reportedly said he had lost the four gold medals. The German government replaced them, and they now rest at Ohio State, Owens’ alma mater.

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