basketball
basketball
The U.S. sent its 1984 Women's Olympic Team to Taipei, Taiwan, for some pre-Olympic action and came away with an easy gold medal, sweeping through its competition by an average margin of 48.8 ppg.

Dominating in every aspect of the game, the USA's offense averaged 86.4 ppg., while its defense limited opponents to just 37.6 ppg. Active on the glass, the USA grabbed an average of 32.9 rpg., compared to their opponents' 11.9 rpg. The United States shot a respectable 56.9 percent from the field (293-515 FGs) and 74.5 percent from the charity stripe (105-141 FTs), while holding the opposition to a paltry 31.0 percent shooting from the field (106-342 FGs). The U.S. squad began their domination early. Opening against a young Australian team, the USA scored 19 points before the Aussies could get onto the scoreboard with two of their own with 9:30 to play. Head coach Pat Summitt then pulled her starting five and the U.S. closed out the half leading 40-14. The second half was more of the same as the U.S., behind 27 points from Cheryl Miller, rolled to the 82-20 victory.

The 1984 Olympic women's basketball competition began with some disappointment, as the eagerly awaited Olympic showdown between the United States and Soviet Union women was once again prevented by politics, this time it was the Soviet team that did not compete.

However, by the time the 1984 competition ended, the U.S. women had plenty to celebrate as the Americans cruised to their first Olympic gold medal with a perfect 6-0 slate, and in the process had outscored their opponents by an average of 32.7 points-per-game.

Opening against Yugoslavia, the American team led comfortably at half, 43-29, and never looked back en route to an 83-55 win as USC standout Cheryl Miller opened the Games with a 23 point performance. Shooting 70.8 percent (17-24) from the field and limiting Australia to 15.4 percent shooting (4-26) in the first half, the U.S. was in command 51-28 at halftime. The U.S. contingent continued its surge in the second half and Australia was overrun by the USA squad 81-47. The 6'3' Miller again led the U.S. offensive attack with 20 points. All 12 U.S. players scored in an 84-47 victory over South Korea, and behind Lynette Woodard's 15 points and 14 more from Janice Lawrence, China fell to the American squad 91-55. Advancing to the semifinals, the Americans handed their neighbors to the North, Canada, a 92-61 setback as 11 of the 12 USA team members scored, led by 6'8' Anne Donovan's 14-point and six-rebound effort.

The gold medal game was no different for the American women than their first five games. Facing South Korea for the second time, South Korea played tough for the first six minutes, but with the score even at 12 the United States went on a 16-2 run to mount a 28-14 lead with 8:10 remaining in the first half. By half, the U.S. was ahead by 15, 42-27. South Korea closed the gap early in the second half to 10 before the United States reeled off 14 unanswered points to ice the Koreans and cruise to an impressive 85-55 victory. Indicative of the team effort that earned the gold medal, all 12 U.S. players scored in the gold medal game. Miller led the USA charge with 16 points and added 11 rebounds, while Lawrence added 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Cindy Noble accounted for 10 points. Miller, averaging 16.5 points-per-game, led the team in scoring, rebounding, steals and assists. On the sidelines, U.S. head coach Pat Head Summitt became the first U.S. Olympian to win a basketball medal as a player (silver in 1976) and then returned to win an Olympic gold medal as a head coach.

1984 USA Women's Olympic Games Roster

NAME
POS
HGT
WGT
AGE
SCHOOL HOMETOWN
Cathy Boswell
F
6-0
172
21
Illinois State Shorewood, IL
Denise Curry
F
6-1
162
24
UCLA Davis,CA
Anne Donovan
C
6-8
175
22
Old Dominion Ridgewood, NJ
Teresa Edwards
G
5-11
150
20
Georgia Cairo, GA
Lea Henry
G
5-4
117
22
Tennesse Damascus, GA
Janice Lawrence
C
6-3
160
21
Louisiana Tech Lucedale, MS
Pam McGee
C
6-3
170
21
Southern California Flint, MI
Carol Menken-Schaudt
C
6-5
170
26
Oregon State Eugene,OR
Cheryl Miller
F
6-3
150
20
Southern California Riverside, CA
Kim Mulkey
G
5-4
125
21
Louisiana Tech Tickfaw, LA
Cindy Noble
C
6-5
165
25
Tennessee Clarksburg, OH
Lynette Woodard
G
5-11
155
24
Kansas Wichita, KS
HEAD COACH: Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee
ASSISTANT COACH: Nancy Darsch, University of Tennessee
ASSISTANT COACH: Kay Yow, North Carolina State University
MANAGER: Bety Jo Graber, Weathersford College(TX)
TEAM PHYSICIAN: Frank Haufe, Knoxville, TN
ATHLETIC TRAINER: Tina Bonci, University of Pennsylvania
NINTH PAN AMERICAN GAMES -- 1983
The 1983 United States team viewed the Pan American Games as an opportunity to return the U.S. to the top of women's basketball. Falling to Cuba in the gold medal game in 1979, the USA was searching for its first Pan Am gold medal since 1975.

The 1983 USA team consisted of the same players who had represented the USA and finished second at the 1983 World Championship (July 24 - August 6) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Only the coaching staff changed as Fran Garmon of Texas Christian University served as the USA's Pan American Games head coach, and Kay Yow was Garmon's assistant coach. The 1983 U.S. squad had a strong nucleus of experienced players. Among them were future Olympians, Denise Curry (1984 and 1980), Anne Donovan (1988, 1984, 1980), Janice Lawrence (1984), Pam McGee (1984), Cheryl Miller (1984), Kim Mulkey (1984), Cindy Noble (1984) and Lynette Woodard (1984 and 1980).

The U.S. squad had an unexpected rest period before beginning the competition when the USA's first two scheduled opponents (Peru and Colombia) withdrew from the competition at the last minute. Finally opening against eventual bronze medalist Brazil, the U.S., behind 24 points from Miller, 22 points from Lawrence and 18 points from Woodard, scored a decisive 107-92 win. In the USA's closest game of the competition, Woodard's 22 points helped lift the U.S. to an 87-79 win over Canada. Four years after suffering a 91-86 loss to Cuba in the '79 Pan Am gold medal game, the U.S. had its chance for revenge. Behind Miller's 18 first-half points, the U.S. built a 43-38 lead at half. Leading 52-49, the U.S. put the game away with 12 straight points as the U.S. went on to record a 100-82 victory. Miller finished the day with 30 points, while Woodard added 19 in the win.

Venezuela was no match for the U.S. team as it stormed its way to a 113-33 victory with Lisa Ingram leading the U.S. attack with 23 points. Facing Puerto Rico and in need of a win if the USA was to capture the gold, seven Americans scored in double digits as the U.S. recorded a convincing 112-65 victory. The USA offensive attack was led by Woodard who finished with 20 points, while Miller added 18 points, Lawrence had 17 and Curry tossed in 16 additional points.

McGee was mimicking Cynthia Cooper, his mom's teammate in Europe and a future WNBA star.

"[JaVale] views women differently because he's always been around strong women," said Pamela McGee, his mother.

She would know. The elder McGee starred, along with twin sister Paula, on back-to-back NCAA championship teams at USC. She won Olympic gold before starting a professional career that took her to Brazil, France, Italy and Spain. Her son was her travel companion, thanks to contract terms that included nannies and teammates who helped with the babysitting -- including Cynthia Cooper.

Throughout the 20-year-old McGee's life, his mom has taught him the game of basketball. But as the WNBA enters its twelfth season, the Nevada center represents a piece of history that many probably didn't expect to see this soon. The Nevada sophomore not only is on the verge of becoming an NBA lottery pick but also will become the first WNBA offspring drafted into the NBA.

The WNBA Draft — the lights, the stage, getting called up to the podium — is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, not only for the player being drafted, but their family as well. That is, unless you’re Imani Boyette’s mother, Pamela McGee.

McGee was selected No. 2 overall in the 1997 WNBA Draft, then 11 years later saw her son, JaVale, get drafted in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft. She has lived both sides of the draft experience, and on Thursday night had the chance to do it all over again.

“With the 10th pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft, the Chicago Sky select Imani Boyette, from the University of Texas!”

Now Boyette, who has been very open about her personal struggles, which include a once fractured relationship with her mother, has a chance to follow in her footsteps. And as the Big-12 co-Defensive Player of the Year, and the first Texas Longhorn to finish her career with 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 200 blocks, Boyette looks primed to fall right in step.

“It was awesome to have my fans here, especially my mom because obviously she’s done this,” Boyette said afterwards. “It was just fun. I wish my husband was here, but it was nice to have my family.”

Her family, especially her husband, Paul Boyette, will be right there with her as she continues her journey with the Chicago Sky. A team which Imani is happy to be joining,

“I’m kinda still shaking now,” Boyette told WNBA.com a few minutes after being drafted. “It’s just exciting and it’s great because I’m going to a great situation.”

A team that went 21-13 last year, finished second in the East, and has Elena Delle Donne? Yeah, that does sound like a great situation.

“I’m just blessed,” Boyette continued. “I never thought I would be here, just in general, and especially not on the basketball side. The fact that I’ve been able to overcome so much, and empower people, and inspire people is amazing, and basketball gives me a platform to keep doing that. So I’m excited to go to the WNBA and used that platform to keep changing lives.”

Now that sounds like a tremendous way to keep the family legacy alive.

Golden State center JaVale McGee may loom large at 7 feet, but he never really had a growth spurt. “Always just tall,” he says, sitting in the Warriors locker room on Sunday night after his team’s 132–113 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 of McGee’s first NBA Finals.

“Born 11 pounds, 11 ounces.” For his mother, Pamela — a two-time NCAA champion, 1984 Olympic gold medalist, and WNBA player and assistant coach — the ramifications of having such a big boy didn’t end after delivery.

Like Mother, Like Son

When she took 4-month-old JaVale to baby-and-me classes that were designed for kids 13 months and younger in her hometown of Flint, Michigan, he was so big that other moms wondered what the McGees were doing there. (JaVale suffered from “big discrimination,” Pamela says with a smile.) When she brought the 9-month-old JaVale to Europe, where she played in France and Spain and was a four-time Italian League All-Star, she frequently found herself arguing with airline employees. “They would never believe that he was younger than 2,” she says now, relaxing on a sofa in the family lounge inside the Warriors’ Oracle Arena and referring to the age below which kids can fly free. “I’d be like, no, ma’am, look, here’s his passport.” Both of JaVale’s parents are tall: Pamela stands at 6-foot-3, while his father, George Montgomery, who was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers but never played, is 6-foot-9. But JaVale shot past them both: By the time he was 14, according to the Los Angeles Times, he was already 6-foot-2 and wearing a size-17 shoe, and he’d grow another 10 inches from there.