The original "Dream Team!"1960 Jerry Lucas Game Worn USA Olympic Basketball Team Jersey. Widely considered the greatest amateur basketball team ever assembled, the 1960 American side dominated the Rome Olympics, winning its games by an average of 42.4 points en route to Gold. A quick review of the roster illustrates the cause, as no fewer than four members are immortalized in both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Walt Bellamy, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, and the man who led all scorers with twenty-five in the Gold Medal game against Brazil: Jerry Lucas.
Presented is the white durene jersey Lucas sported in the shadow of the Coliseum, an exceedingly rare and desirable specimen believed to be the only one to surface in the hobby since Oscar Robertson's realized over $120,000 in 2012. Provenance could not be any more ironclad, as an array of perfect photo matches are accompanied by both a letter of provenance from Lucas himself, and an image of him holding the jersey in recent years.
The classic style is sure to fuel a burst of patriotic pride, with blue and red tackle twill announcing "U.S.A. 11" on the chest, those digits repeated in larger format on reverse. Red and blue piping navigates the arm and neck openings. A proper "Wilson" label resides at lower left exterior tail, trailed by a "46 +3" size and tailoring flap tag. Clear game use is evident, but the garment remarkably survives without a single distraction of tearing or staining. It appears effectively unchanged from that glorious Italian run.
While the tale of the 1960 US Olympic basketball team fascinates from an athletic standpoint alone, the wider societal implications in a context of Cold War international politics and racial strife back home in the States makes for a particularly compelling history. Oscar Robertson recalled standing atop the podium next to Jerry West as the flag raised and the anthem boomed:
"It was a moment of jubilation for me, a very special moment. Jerry and I being from different parts of the country...and neither of us had any money, and we are on the stands for the Gold medal, one black and one white, with all the troubles that were going on in the country at that particular time. It meant a lot."
In 2010, the team was inducted as a unit into the Basketball Hall of Fame, providing that last assurance of immortality. Certainly the offered garment is a relic worthy of display within that hallowed institution. Letter of provenance from Jerry Lucas. LOA from Heritage Auctions.
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2018 November 15-16 Fall Sports Card Catalog Auction