by John Bach
Bearcat great Oscar Robertson played on perhaps the best amateur basketball team in Olympic history.
It was the summer of 1960 during the Rome Games when new graduate Robertson, Bus '60, HonDoc '07 -- along with fellow Hall-of-Famers Jerry Lucas, Jerry West and Walter Bellamy -- helped the U.S. team to one of its most convincing gold medal performances ever. Co-captain Robertson and Lucas led the undefeated American squad in scoring, each averaging 17 points per game over eight contests. The U.S. team swept through the international competition by beating their opponents by an average of 42 points.
Robertson, already a three-time pick for National Player of the Year as a Bearcat, followed his Olympic success with an incredible pro career in which he was a 12-time NBA All-Star. Fellow Olympian and Cincinnati Royals teammate Jerry Lucas once offered these words to the Indianapolis Star about the Big O: "He obviously was unbelievable, way ahead of his time. There is no more complete player than Oscar."
Complete Olympic history at UC
Other famous Bearcats who went pro
Beijing medalists and past Olympians return to UC
Jenny Kemp wins swimming gold at '72 Games
Alumna Kemp witnesses Munich massacre
George Wilson helps USA basketball stay perfect in '64
Video: UC's Olympians return for Homecoming in '08
Video tribute to Oscar Robertson
Big O's record-setting night at Madison Square Garden