by Bennett Van Donge
August 21, 2016 was the day 12 of the best basketball players in the world had waited for their whole lives. It was the last day of the 2016 Rio Olympics. These basketball players had the chance to play for a gold medal vs number the 3rd world ranked Serbia. All over the USA, Serbia, and even in the host country Brazil, the tension was very high for this game. After months and months of training, this USA team could leave with a shiny gold medal, or an empty hand.
This gold medal would not be the first for this historic basketball team. If they would won that day it would be the fifteenth men’s basketball gold medal in olympic history for the USA. They had beat nations all over the world, including Mexico and even Australia. The tension was always very high for this game in the past, but it had never been this high before. This team was an underdog coming in. Missing star players like LeBron James and Stephen Curry, the USA team was expected to win at least a bronze medal coming in. To win, they would have to overcome a lot of odds and prove a lot of people wrong.
After stretching, warming up, and pep talks from coaches it was finally 3:00, tipoff time. With everyone’s knees shaking and teeth chattering, the gold medal game had begun. With 15,000 people in this big Verizon Arena in Rio de Janeiro every fan and bench player stood anxiously. All these people were looking at the players with fear, but excitement from not knowing what would happen in the next play. With clutch shots, risky passes, classy blocks and 3 pointers from star players like Kevin Durant and Kyle Lowry, it was all over.
After 40 crazy, anxious, minutes the USA team had prevailed by beating Serbia. Fans were jumping up and down with excitement, celebrating like they never had before. It seemed unreal. Out of 12 countries, the underdogs had won! It was over and USA was not going home empty handed. They were walking away with gold.