Gomelsky, Sasha : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Gomelsky, Sasha

Alexsandr Gomelsky


Country Represented:
Soviet Union

Years Competed:
1964, 1968, 1980, 1984, 1988

Medals Received:
gold, silver, bronze

Olympic Info:
Considered the father of modern basketball in the Soviet Union, Gomelsky coached the Soviet Olympic basketball team in five Olympiads. They took the silver medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and a gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics (thus prompting the U.S. to use NBA players and develop the "Dream Team"), and bronze medals at the 1968 (Mexico City), 1980 (Moscow), and 1984 Olympics.

At the 1972 Munich Games, however, the Soviet Union would not allow Gomelsky to attend the Games, fearing he would defect to Israel. The team, whom he called "his boys," defeated the United States in a controversial result with the Soviets winning the gold medal; it was the first time the U.S. lost a basketball game in Olympic history.

Career Highlights:
To learn more about Gomelsky, who is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, please see our basketball section. Click here for his entry in the basketball section.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. 1926

Soviet Union

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Great Jews in Sports by Robert Slater (New York: Jonathan David Publishers, 2000)
Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)

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