In recent weeks, each individual SB Nation blog was asked to pick their favorite Olympic moment leading up to the 2012 London Summer Olympics. I considered some of the obvious ones: The Miracle on Ice 1980 US Men's hockey team winning at Lake Placid, the 1996 US Women's gymnastic team capturing the gold in Atlanta on Kerri Strug's injured ankle, or even the Jamaican bobsled team that gave Disney the inspiration for the movie Cool Runnings.
Instead, I opted for a much more Hokie-centric Olympic post. One that would draw at the heartstrings of all Hokie fans old enough to remember the days when a player that went by the name "Bimbo" graced the courts of Cassell Coliseum, and gave the Hokies their greatest period of success in their basketball history. How does Bimbo Coles play into Olympic history? Well, you'll have to jump to find out. Go ahead, all your friends are doing it.
Vernell Eufaye "Bimbo" Coles played for Virginia Tech from 1986-1990, scoring a school record 2,484 points that still stands today. Hokie fans who haven't heard of him before need only to look at the rafters of Cassell Coliseum next to the video boards to know what kind of impact Coles had while at Tech. But as much as I could write an essay about Coles' Virginia Tech exploits, this post is about something altogether different: Coles' participation on the 1988 US Men's Olympic basketball team.
Coles found a role on a team featuring college greats and future NBA stars David Robinson, Mitch Richmond, Dan Majerle, Danny Manning, Hersey Hawkins and Stacey Augmon, scoring 7.1 ppg. and averaging 1.4 steals. He helped to lead the US to an average margin of victory of 36.6 points per game through group play. Despite that, after a victory over Puerto Rico in the quarterfinals, the US team lost to the Soviet Union by six points in the semifinals. The US team did rebound to win the Bronze medal after defeating Australia in the 3rd place game, but it was disappointing despite the fact that US collegiate players were going up against foreign pros.
So what is so spectacular about a Bronze medal you might ask? Well, several reasons; 1. 1988 was the last year that the Americans used collegiate athletes versus professionals to fill out their roster, meaning that Bimbo quite possibly played on the last amateur Olympic men's basketball team in history, 2. It's interesting to think that the team Bimbo played on helped to inspire the creation of the Dream Team and subsequent Dream Team's, and 3. Any time a collegiate athlete wins an Olympic medal while still in school, it's pretty special. There are a limited amount of people who can say they have done that, especially in the modern era of the Olympics.
I hope you enjoyed this look back into Gobbler Country's official favorite Olympic memory. If you were unaware of the 1988 team and/or Bimbo Coles (shame on you), go look it up. Also, make sure to keep coming back to Gobbler Country for all your Hokie basketball desires. Finally, if you wish to revel in more past Olympic memories, make sure to check out Yahoo! Sports.
Celebrate the most compelling moments in Summer Games history with 'Memorable Moments' on Yahoo! Sports. Re-live moments such as Nadia Comaneci's perfect 10s in Montreal, Michael Phelps' record eight gold medals in Beijing, Carl Lewis' unforgettable four gold medals in Los Angeles, the spectacular success of the 1992 US Dream Team, Muhammad Ali in Rome and Atlanta, and any more!
These special moments are showcased through exclusive video, iconic photos, and stories on Yahoo!'s hub dedicated to the coverage of the Games. Enjoy the unique storytelling from Yahoo! Sports' award-winning writers and experts, as well as through the lens of Yahoo!'s users themselves.
Check out Memorable Moments on Yahoo! Sports!