Colangelo wins Olympic gold, eyes big things for the Valley

Arizona Sports News online

Pardon the pun, but things are good as gold right now for Team USA Basketball Chairman/Managing Director and Valley sports icon Jerry Colangelo.

Literally.

Sunday’s hard-fought 107-100 gold medal-clinching win over Spain ensured the Americans domination on the hard court would continue for at least another four years.

“The closeness of the this team, depending on one another, the camaraderie,” Colangelo told Brad Cesmat from London Monday on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “[It] pulled us through some tough moments in this game and we had enough to win it. It was very satisfying.”

Colangelo mentioned his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame, bringing Major League Baseball to Arizona in the late 90’s, and winning the 2001 World Series with the Diamondbacks but nothing compares for him to representing your country on an international stage and winning back-to-back-to-back Gold Medals as the U.S. did in the 2008, 2012 Olympics and the 2010 World Championships.

Although Kevin Durant set a Team USA scoring record for total points scored in the London Games, no player impressed more than LeBron James who capped a championship summer by beating the Spaniards.

“He’s a man. He’s matured more than any player on this group,” Colangelo explained to Cesmat. “The year he’s had has put him into an elite class. He’s now a leader. He’s the best player in the world.”

With his latest goal accomplished, Colangelo is planning on spending some extra time in Europe before returning to the States and working on bringing the Olympic Basketball Training Center to Phoenix.

“I guess you can call me selfish, Brad,” Colangelo said to Cesmat. “I just want to have USA Basketball and the best talent in America flowing through our community.”

He had been working with the City of Glendale and thought a deal was complete before it fell through. Colangelo said the southeast Valley is emerging as the best possibility moving forward.

 

 

 

 

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.