Syracuse basketball has been integral part of Team USA

Carmelo Anthony Team USA
Carmelo Anthony, USA Olympic Men’s Basketball player, dunks the ball during an exhibition game against the Dominican Republic national team, July 12, 2012, at the Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nev. Photo Credit: Airman 1st Class Daniel Hughes/99th Air Base Wing.

The Orange will be well represented in the 2021 Olympics, with four Syracuse University alumni joining Team USA in Tokyo (July 23 – Aug. 8).

SU’s representation is of course headlined by Jerami Grant, who takes over the Orange’s representation for the basketball team from Carmelo Anthony. Anthony, heading into his 19th NBA season and in the twilight of his illustrious NBA career, participated in the past four (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) Olympics games, earning three gold medals and a bronze. He departed Team USA as its all time-leading scorer.

Meanwhile, Grant is coming off a breakout season as member of the Detroit Pistons, averaging 22.3 ppg and 4.6 rpg, and was a finalist for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award.

While Grant and Anthony are the only two SU players to ever represent Syracuse on the Senior Men’s Basketball Olympic teams, in all, 28 Syracuse players have represented Team USA in various international competitions. Aside from Anthony, Jim Boeheim was an assistant coach for Team USA’s Olympic Gold runs in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Anthony is one of five Orange to have played for USA Basketball in the FIBA World Championships, joining Wendell Alexis (1998), Derrick Coleman (1994), Billy Owens (1990), and Tony Seikaly (1986).

As for the answer to the trivia question: Who was the first Syracuse player to represent Team USA in international competition? That distinction goes to Gene Waldron, who played on the 1981 U.S. Olympic Festival East team that finished fourth in competition.

Anthony is not alone in his own recruiting class as a member of Team USA. In fact, his other two classmates, Gerry McNamara and Matt Gorman, put on the red, white and blue as well. McNamara played in the 2005 World University Games (Gold), while Gorman played in the 2001 USA Youth Development Festival East Team (Silver).

One last note before I list the entire SU-Team USA roster below: The only other Syracuse player besides Anthony and Grant to appear for Team USA in the past decade is Tyler Lydon, who will be competing for Boeheim’s Army later this month. He was part of the 2014 USA FIBA Americans Under-18 Team, which also won gold.

Here’s the full list (via SU Athletic Communications):

» Related: Syracuse basketball’s connection to the Olympic Games

  • Rafael Addison: 1985 FIBA Intercontinental Cup, 1982 U.S. Olympic Festival East (Silver)
  • Wendell Alexis: 1998 World Championship (Bronze), 1983 U.S. Olympic Festival East (Silver)
  • Carmelo Anthony: 2016 Olympics (Gold), 2012 Olympics (Gold), 2008 Olympics (Gold), 2007 FIBA Americas Senior Championship (Gold), 2006 World Championship (Bronze), 2004 Olympics (Bronze), 2002 Under-19 Qualifiers (Bronze), 2001 USA Youth Development Festival East Team (Silver)
  • Adrian Autry: 1993 FIBA Under-21/Young Men World Championship (Gold), 1990 U.S. Olympic Festival West (Fourth)
  • Jim Boeheim: 2016 Olympics-Asst. Coach (Gold), 2014 FIBA World Championship-Asst. Coach (Gold), 2012 Olympics-Asst. Coach (Gold), 2010 FIBA World Championship-Asst. Coach (Gold), 2008 Olympics-Asst. Coach (Gold), 2007 FIBA Americas Senior Championship-Asst. Coach (Gold), 2006 Senior World Championship-Asst. Coach (Bronze), 2001 World Championship For Young Men-Head Coach (Gold), 2000 World Championship For Young Men Qualifier-Head Coach (Silver), 1998 Junior World Championship Qualifier-Head Coach (Gold), 1990 World Championship-Asst. Coach (Bronze), 1990 Goodwill Games-Asst. Coach (Silver), 1989 World University Games-Asst. Coach (Gold), 1982 USA Olympic Festival East Team Head Coach (Silver)
  • Derrick Coleman: 1994 World Championship (Gold), 1986 U.S. Olympic Festival North (Fourth)
  • Trevor Cooney: 2010 USA Under-18 Team (Gold)
  • Eric Devendorf: 2004 USA Youth Development Festival North Team (Silver)
  • Michael Edwards: 1990 U.S. Olympic Festival East (Bronze)
  • LaRon Ellis: 1988 U.S. Select Team-R. William Jones Cup (Gold)
  • Jonny Flynn: 2007 U.S. Under-19 World Championship (Silver), 2006 FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship (Gold)
  • Matt Gorman: 2001 USA Youth Development Festival East Team (Silver)
  • Jerami Grant: 2013 U.S. Under-19 Championship (Gold), 2012 U.S. Under-18 Championship (Gold), 2021 Olympics (?)
  • Donte’ Greene: 2007 U.S. Under-19 World Championship (Silver), 2006 FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship (Gold)
  • Paul Harris: 2006 USA Junior National Select Team, 2005 USA Youth Development Festival White Team (Gold)
  • Otis Hill: 1994 U.S. Olympic Festival East (Silver)
  • Scoop Jardine: 2011 World University Games (Bronze)
  • Tyler Lydon: 2014 FIBA Americas Under-18 Championhsip (Gold)
  • Gerry McNamara: 2005 World University Games (Gold)
  • Conrad McRae: 1990 Under 19 Qualifier, 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival East (Silver)
  • Demetris Nichols: 2002 USA Development Festival East Team (Silver)
  • Billy Owens: 1990 World Championship (Bronze), 1990 Goodwill Games (Silver), 1989 Tournament of the Americas, 1988 U.S. Select Team-R. Williams Jones Cup (Gold)
  • Terrence Roberts: 2005 FIBA Under-21 Young Men World Championship, 2002 USA Development Festival East Team (Silver)
  • Rony Seikaly: 1986 World Championship (Gold), 1986 Goodwill Games (Gold), 1985 U.S. Olympic Festival East (Bronze)
  • Stephen Thompson: 1989 World University Games (Gold), 1987 FIBA Under 19/Junior World Championship (Silver), 1986 U.S. Olympic Festival West (Gold)
  • Gene Waldron: 1981 U.S. Olympic Festival East (Fourth)
  • John Wallace: 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival East (Fourth)
  • Dwayne Washington: 1983 Junior World Championship (Gold), 1983 U.S. Olympic Festival East (Silver)

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]