A Game of Basketball - 50 years ago, this date

Yes, this is “geezer talk”. Or, at least I have seen such reminiscing affectionately referenced that way (at least I hope it was affectionately). I would offer, in my defense, the title of the post gives some indicaton that the subject on which I post reaches back into the mists of ancient history when those of us from the Paleozoic era became Coog fans.

1972 Olympics will ever be remembered with a great pall of sadness and horror for events that occurred outside any athletic venue or arena. Which is not to say that there were not moments of great enjoyment. I still remember being at home with the Olympics on television (yes, back then that ancient invention called tv was the prime medium for sporting events) to see the 800 meter final. 1972 Olympic 800m Final (Hi Quality) - YouTube

But it was on September 10 1972 that the USA played the Soviet Union (yes, back then we were allowed to call a Soviet a Soviet) in a the finals of the basketball tourney - one game for the gold medal. A great deal of information is available regarding the “ending” of the game and the “controversy” regarding the final score. This 1972 Olympic basketball game - YouTube entry provides a good review of the events at the end of the game.

From my viewpoint there is no controversy or dispute.   The USA won the 1972 Olympic Men's Basketball Gold Medal - to even call it a controversy elevates the preposterous positions taken in  favor of the communists (yes, they called themselves communists way back then) to al level of validity they should not enjoy.  However, I confess that I am biased.  I am an American and proud to be one.  I am also a Coog fan and proud to be one of those.  

One of the sources of that pride stems from this very game. For lost in all the drama of the ending is the contribution of Houston high school and UH basketball legend Dwight Jones. Dwight Jones was the leading scorer for the 1972 team. It is now generally acknowledged that the Soviets sent a scrub from deep in their bench to assault Jones. In the ensuing melee the Soviet scrub, a Mikheil Korkia, and Dwight Jones were both ejected.

To my mind the kids of the USA won the 1972 gold medal and Dwight Jones should join Ken Spain as holding the honor of being gold medal recipients for the University of Houston from the “amateur player” era.

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One of the most blatant fixes of a game that has ever been played.

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An understatement

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