Spencer Haywood’s 1968 Olympic Gold Medal (Basketball)Go Back
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As U. S. amateurs geared up for the 1968 Olympic Games, there was only subdued enthusiasm for our basketball team’s chance of success. An assortment of personal agendas precluded key-player participation, and it seemed conceivable that our cagers would come home empty-handed. Against that backdrop, there arose a 19-year-old phenom from Detroit. His name was Spencer Haywood, and by his superlative performance throughout the competition (eight games in all), the American team went undefeated, capturing the gold. Haywood, it will be remembered, went on to pursue a fine career. Originally signing with the ABA’s Buffalo franchise, he quickly found himself in the NBA where he starred through the decade of the ’70’s. Haywood’s first taste of glory, however, was in Mexico City in that XIX Olympiad. And here offered is the gold medal he received. This one is the original (not a replacement). It’s a three-component creation. The red ribbon (NM) is about 29″ in total length. The ribbon then suspends a small, flat plate (NM) identifying the category, and then attached below is the glorious medal itself. With beautiful Graeco images and finery on both sides, this is a very substantial piece. For the benefit of exact reporting, there’s a lightly detectable perimeter ding on the medal, rendering it technically NM. It’s about 2 1/4″ in diameter and about 1/8″ deep. Beautiful, with unblemished surfaces, all of its intricate details stand in bold relief. It is attended by a letter from Olympic teammate Charles Scott, who represents Haywood.