Brook Lopez Among the Finalists for USA Basketball’s Men’s Olympic Team

Brook Lopez is still in the running to represent the US at the Olympics

The 31-year-old Cuban American Milwaukee Bucks player and one-time NBA All-Star is among the 44 playersannounced by USA Basketball as finalists for the team that will play this summer in the 2020 Tokyo Games

Brook Lopez

Lopez appears on a list that’s headlined by recent NBA MVPLeBron JamesKevin DurantStephen CurryRussell Westbrookand James Harden.

Many of the same names were on the 2019 FIBA World Cupnational team minicamp roster, but a mass withdrawal left the U.S. scrambling to field a competitive roster. The Americans failed to medal for the first time since 2002. It remains to be seen whether stars will fill the roster in Tokyo.

“All of the finalists are exceptionally gifted athletes who offer us amazing versatility and depth,” USA Basketball men’s national team managing director Jerry Colangelo said in a press release, “and the group of finalists features a range of players from those who are very experienced and accomplished in international basketball to players who will be future international stars.

“Over the course of the remainder of the NBA season, we’ll continue to monitor all of the athletes. Selecting the 12-man USA roster will obviously be an extremely challenging and difficult process, and we will again attempt to select the very best team possible to represent our country and who we hope will be successful in our difficult mission of repeating as Olympic champions for a fourth consecutive Olympics.”

“The reason we have this big roster is a lot of things happen, a lot of variables,” Colangelo said. “And what’s to say what’s going to happen from an injury standpoint between now and June? We don’t know. So we have the rest of the season to monitor, to watch. But when we select our 12, they will be 12 who are absolutely in with all fours.”

Lopez has been in the NBA since 2008. He’s played for the New Jersey Nets/Brooklyn Nets, the Los Angeles Lakersand the Bucks.

Here’s the complete list of finalists for the 2020 U.S. Olympic men’s national basketball team:

Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat
LaMarcus Aldridge,San Antonio Spurs
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
Malcolm Brogdon,Indiana Pacers
Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
Mike Conley, Utah Jazz
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs
Andre Drummond, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets
Paul George, L.A. Clippers
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
James Harden, Houston Rockets
Montrezl Harrell, L.A. Clippers
Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets
Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers
Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics
Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans
Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers
Kawhi Leonard, L.A. Clippers
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
JaVale McGee, Los Angeles Lakers
Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers
Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder
Mason Plumlee, Denver Nuggets
Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers
Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics
Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets
Derrick White, San Antonio Spurs

Victor Santos Among Featured Athletes in Olympic Channel’s Docu-Series “Far From Home”

Victor Santos is Home bound…

Ahead of this week’s start of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the Olympic Channel will debut its original documentary series, Far From Home, chronicling the stories behind some of the most unlikely athletes at the Winter Games, including the 20-year-old Brazilian Olympic cross-country skater.

Victor Santos

The six-episode documentary s debuts today on the channel’s digital platform worldwide. Shot over eight months and produced by Boardwalk Pictures, WZRD Media and Madica Productions, it traces a group of athletes facing financial, personal and cultural hurdles as they attempt to qualify.

Each episode follows the incredible journey of an athlete who must balance their personal lives with grueling training regimens and competitions, including Santos and figure skater Julian Yee who will represent Malaysia at its first-ever Olympic Winter Games.

“Every athlete dreams of going to the Olympics, but coming from a tropical country into winter sports, I didn’t even think I would make it,” said Yee who trains inside of a busy shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur. “Knowing that you, as one person, are able to bring a country together is a great feeling.”

Far From Home highlights the incredible efforts and sacrifices that athletes are willing to make to achieve their dream of competing in an Olympic Winter Games,” said Mark Parkman, General Manager of the International Olympic Committee’s global Olympic Channel. “No matter what country you’re from, the passionate stories behind these unlikely winter heroes who are bringing their PyeongChang experiences closer to their home countries, are sure to relate to all audiences.”

The series also features Shiva Keshavan, who is heading to his sixth Olympic Winter Games, and is the first Indian athlete to compete in luge event. Further highlighted are women’s ice hockey player Sojung Shin from Korea; alpine skier Forough Abbasi from Iran; and the first women’s bobsleigh team of Carrie Russell and Jazmine Fenlator from Jamaica. The Jamaican national team having first risen to global fame in its 1988 debut appearance in Calgary, inspiring the 1993 Jon Turtletaub movie Cool Runnings.

The Olympic Channel also said today that it has entered a multi-year agreement with Snap Inc in support of its objective to engage new audiences and younger generations with the Olympic Movement. The deal provides Snap with Olympic Channel original programming for shows on Snapchat’s Discover page, and assets for creative tools. In addition, Snapchat will produce Our Stories featuring archival footage provided by the Olympic Channel team, in collaboration with Olympic rights-holding broadcasters, during PyeongChang 2018.

Anthony Leads Team USA to Third Straight Olympic Gold in Men’s Basketball

2016 Rio Games

Carmelo Anthony is basketball’s golden boy…

The 32-year-old half-Puerto Rican basketball star helped lead Team USA to a 96-66 win over Serbia at the 2016 Rio Games, to give the United States the gold medal in Men’s Basketball.

Carmelo Anthony & Team USA

It’s Anthony, who has won his third gold medal in four tries, says he’s done with international competition.

The New York Knicks star first represented the United States at the 2004 Athens Games when Team USA won bronze under Larry Brown.

“I knew this is the end,” Anthony told Ros Gold-Onwude on NBC moments after the team’s big win. “This is it for me. I committed to something …” Anthony then paused for 21 seconds, soaking in the cheers from the crowd. “I committed to this in ’04. I’ve seen the worst and I’ve seen the best. And I stuck with it. And we stuck with it. And I’m here today, three gold medals later. I’m just, I’m excited for me but also for the other guys who never experienced anything like this.”

Carmelo Anthony & Team USA

It’s the most emotional Anthony has ever been publicly, and it’s understandable.

Throughout his 13 years in the NBA, he has received all sorts of criticism for his teams being unable to win big. While he has been a terrific playoff performer, he has only been to the conference finals once.

On the international stage, though, Anthony has been more successful than just about anybody.

Anthony is the only male basketball player to win three Olympic gold medals. He is Team USA’s all-time leader in points, games played and rebounds at the Olympics. He can retire from the national team knowing that his dedication to USA Basketball can never be questioned.

That is unless Anthony isn’t convinced to do it all over again at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

LeBron James is around the same age as Anthony, and he has intentionally left the door open to participate, as he would like to play for new Team USA coach Gregg Popovich. Also read: Do you have a friend, kid or relative that you are looking to surprise with a basketball related gift? Well, I understand it’s a confusing and tedious process. Lucky for you I have put together a hand-picked list of the best basketball gifts for players and fans. Roadtoreno helps you to choose best gift. Chances are that they will love whichever product you will choose.

Santos & His Brazilian Teammates Claim Gold in Men’s Volleyball at the 2016 Rio Games

2016 Rio Games

Sérgio Santos is back at the top of the medal podium…

The 40-year-old Brazilian volleyball player, the only Olympian ever to reach four finals in a row in Men’s Volleyball, helped lead his team past Italy to reclaim the gold medal at the 2016 Rio Games.

Brazil Men's Volleyball Team

Brazil beat a strong Italian team in straight sets, 25-22, 28-26, 26-24, on Sunday for the home team’s first Olympic title in 12 years since a championship at the 2004 Athens Games.

As the delirious home crowd hung out to watch the medal ceremony, fans danced in the stands and chanted “Campeao! Campeao!”

Sérgio Santos

“It’s really special, especially winning in our own home it leaves a really good taste,” Brazil’s William Arjona said. “It’s a whole life of work and this is our result. We are very happy for this.”

At the very end, Santos grabbed the microphone and expressed his gratitude to thousands inside and millions elsewhere, thanking the adoring crowd and telling all the fans how much he cherishes wearing Brazil’s yellow shirt on his chest.

Then, he and the champion Brazilians took a victory lap and celebrated some more. They capped the final day of the 2016 Summer Olympics with a memorable, emphatic volleyball victory.

Brazil’s men avenged a loss to Russia in the 2012 London Games gold-medal match with a straight-set victory Friday night, then carried that momentum — and rode the energy of their huge crowd — to the top spot of the Olympic podium.

The Brazilians reached their fourth straight Olympic title match and finally came out champions once more. Even sweeter to reach the gold-medal match by knocking down the Russia team that beat them for gold in London.

The Brazilians then grabbed Santos and tossed him in the air, time and time again. The fitting gesture for a national team treasure and beloved libero in what likely was his last Olympics.

Coloma Claims Bronze in Men’s Cross Country at the 2016 Rio Games

2016 Rio Games

The third time’s the charm for Carlos Coloma

The 34-year-old Spanish mountain biker, participating in his third Olympics, won the bronze medal in the Men’s Cross-Country competition in mountain bike cycling at the 2016 Rio Games.

Carlos Coloma

Coloma finished the race with a time of 1:34:51, just shy of Switzerland’s Nino Schurter, who claimed the gold with a time of 1:33:28 and the Czech Republic’s Jaroslav Kulhavý, who finished just ahead of Coloma at 1:34:18.

In his first Olympics, Coloma finished in 28th place at the 2008 Beijing Games. Four years later, he moved up to 6th place at the 2012 London Games.

Mohedano & Her Teammates Give Spain Its First Rhythmic Gymnastics Medal in 20 Years

2016 Rio Games

Lourdes Mohedano has helped bring Spain back into the medal circle in rhythmic gymnastics…

The 21-year-old Spanish group rhythmic gymnast and her teammates claimed the silver in the Women’s Team All-Around at the 2016 Rio Games, putting Spain back on the medal podium after a 20 year absence.

Lourdes Mohedano at Spain's Rhythmic Gymnastics Team

Trailing overnight, Russia outperformed their rivals on Sunday to claim a fifth straight Olympic gold, pushing Spain into silver and Bulgaria into bronze.

The Spaniards eventually returned to the podium for the first time since 1996 with a silver.

Russia’s two-round total of 36.233 was good enough to survive a serious scare from Spain, which led qualifying on Saturday and was on top again after ribbons. Spain, which won the first Olympic gold awarded in the sport when it was introduced at the 1996 Atlanta Games, was hardly complaining about the outcome.

Four years ago the Spanish were a close fourth.

Lourdes Mohedano at Spain's Rhythmic Gymnastics Team

A medal of any color would have been fine, though even they were taken aback when they found themselves on top of the leaderboard during qualifying.

“Yesterday came as a surprise to us,” Alejandra Quereda said. “Of course we worked toward a medal but we didn’t expect things to happen like that. For us, a silver medal tastes like gold to us.”

It also raised the stakes heading toward the 2020 Tokyo Games. Russia remains on top, though the gap may finally be closing.

“Nobody is undefeatable,” Quereda said. “We could see that yesterday. Yes, Russia is strong in rhythmic gymnastics but we’re getting there.”

Gasol & His Teammates Give Spain a Men’s Basketball Bronze at the 2016 Rio Games

2016 Rio Games

They may not be this year’s Golden boys, but Pau Gasol and his Spanish teammates still have reason to celebrate.

The 36-year-old professional basketball player, who will be heading to the San Antonio Spurs this upcoming NBA season, scored 31 points in what could be his Olympic farewell, as Spain collected the bronze medal in Men’s Basketball at the 2016 Rio Games on Sunday with an 89-88 win over Australia.

Paul Gasol & Spain's Men's Basketball Team

Sergio Rodriguez made two free throws with 5.4 seconds left and the Spaniards, who captured silver at the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 London Games, got the defensive stop they needed as Australia fumbled the ball away on its last possession.

Gasol, who hasn’t committed to playing at the 2020 Tokyo Games, and his teammates celebrated by piling on top of each other near center court.

Paul Gasol & Spain's Men's Basketball Team

It wasn’t the medal they wanted, but after losing their first two games in Brazil, it beats nothing.

“Unbelievable,” forward Rudy Fernandez said. “It’s an amazing feeling.”

It’s a feeling Gasol wishes could last. He isn’t ready to shed his España jersey.

“I’m getting older and at some point I’m not going to be able to play,” said Gasol. “So when that day comes, I’ll accept it. It’ll be hard, but I had an incredible run. I can’t ask for anything else. Everything I gave, everything I lived as a basketball player, it’s a plus. It’s a gift.

“I’m just enjoying the ride.”

Sanchez Claims Silver in Men’s Individual 10m Platform Final at the 2016 Rio Games

2016 Rio Games

It’s another silver for Germán Sánchez

The 24-year-old Mexican diver, nicknamed “Duva,” claimed the silver medal in the Men’s Individual 10m Platform diving final at the 2016 Rio Games.

Germán Sánchez

China’s Chen Aisen emerged from a tightly contested field to claim the gold medal with 585.30 points.

Sanchez won the silver with 532.70 points and USA’s David Boudia, the reigning Olympic champion, totaled 525.25 to claim bronze.

The Guadalajara native won his first individual medal at the Olympics following his second-place showing at the 2012 London Games four years ago.

Along with Ivan Garcia, Sanchez won the silver in the men’s 10-meter synchronized platform jump at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Lopez Claims Boxing Gold at the 2016 Rio Games

2016 Rio Games

It’s a golden moment for Arlen Lopez

The 23-year-old Cuban boxer, the current world champion, beat Uzbekistan’s Bektemir Melikuziev on a unanimous points decision to win the Olympic middleweight title on Saturday, Cuba’s third boxing gold medal of the 2016 Rio Games.

Arlen Lopez

Azerbaijan’s Kamran Shakhsuvarly and Mexico’s Misael Rodriguez, his country’s first medalist in the division since 1968, took the bronze medals as losing semi-finalists.

Fighting half an hour after compatriot Robeisy Ramirez had won bantamweight gold, Lopez ensured Cuba won two of the day’s three finals by taking the opening rounds before easing off slightly in the third.

The top seed coming into the tournament, Lopez always looked the more polished fighter in what was a repeat of the 2015 world championship final and he closed out the draw with a 3-0 win.

Lopez caught Melikuziev with his arm in the third round, leading to a brief pause while the Uzbek had medical attention for a gash above his eye.

Cuba have now won middleweight gold five times, equaling the United States and Britain.

“There was some information from people in the stands through signals that I was ahead and that encouraged me and I knew the victory was in my hands,” said Lopez, who celebrated with a forward roll on the canvas.

Japan’s Ryoto Murata won the title in 2012 and then turned professional.

Ramirez Wins Second Straight Boxing Gold at the 2016 Rio Games

2016 Rio Games

He may have switched divisions, but Robeisy Ramirez is still an Olympic champion…

The 22-year-old Cuban amateur boxer out-pointed Team USA’s Shakur Stevenson at the 2016 Rio Games to decide the first Olympic gold medal fight between the two boxing powerhouses in 20 years.

Robeisy Ramirez

The two nations are the most successful in Olympic boxing history yet had oddly avoided each other with the top prize on the line until Ramirez beat Stevenson via split decision to settle the bantamweight gold.

Ramirez, one of the most technically proficient punchers at the 2016 Summer Olympics, has become just the third boxer in history to win two Olympic golds in separate weight divisions.

He was the reigning flyweight champion after success at the 2012 London Games.