Holiday, LaVine Lead Team USA to Olympic Gold
Former UCLA standout guards Jrue Holiday and Zach LaVine helped the U.S. Men's Basketball Team to the gold medal at the 2020 Olympics with an 87-82 win over France in the gold medal contest on Saturday in Tokyo.
Holiday and LaVine won gold medals in their first-ever appearance in the Olympic Games, becoming the 11th and 12th former UCLA men's basketball players to secure gold medals for Team USA in the Olympics.
In the gold medal game, Holiday finished with 11 points and five rebounds while LaVine totaled five points. They became the first Bruins to have won Olympic gold medals since 2012, when Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook helped Team USA secure gold at the Olympic Games in London.
The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo have marked the sixth Olympic Games in which at least one former UCLA men's basketball player has led the United States to the gold medal. In addition to 2012, the Bruins' program also had gold medal winners in 1996 (Reggie Miller), 1964 (Walt Hazzard), 1948 (Don Barksdale) and 1936 (Sam Balter, Carl Knowles, Frank Lubin, Don Piper and Carl Shy).
In Saturday's gold medal contest in Japan, the U.S. squad led throughout against France, securing a 44-39 advantage at halftime. Team USA led after three quarters, 71-63, and pushed its advantage into double figures in the fourth quarter.
Through six games in Tokyo, Team USA compiled a 5-1 record, having overcome an opening loss to France in Group A pool play (83-76). The United States answered with wins against Iran and the Czech Republic, advancing to the quarterfinals. Team USA registered back-to-back wins versus Spain (quarterfinals) and Australia (semifinals) to set up a gold-medal game showdown against France on Saturday in Japan.
Holiday starred as a freshman at UCLA during the 2008-09 season, helping the Bruins to a 26-9 overall record and a second-round NCAA Tournament appearance. LaVine played in all 37 games as a freshman in 2013-14, guiding the Bruins to a 28-9 overall mark and a Sweet 16 appearance in that season's NCAA Tournament.