Deron Williams is just the third Illini athlete ever to win two Olympic gold medals.
(Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images.)
Aug. 12, 2012
London, England -
Team USA won gold for the second consecutive Olympics, defeating Spain on Sunday by the score of 107-100 to complete an 8-0 sweep of the competition in London.
With the victory, former Illini star Deron Williams also claimed his second Olympic gold medal. He is one of five players from the 2008 U.S. team to repeat at this summer's games, joined by LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul.
Williams also becomes just the third Illini in school history and first in more than 50 years to win two Olympic gold medals. The first UI athlete to accomplish the feat was Harold Osborn, who won both the decathlon and high jump at the 1924 games in Paris. Bob Richards also earned two golds, winning the pole vault at the 1952 games in Helsinki and the 1956 games in Melbourne.
Williams had six points in the win over Spain, hitting a pair of 3-pointers. He ranked sixth on the U.S. in scoring for the Olympics, averaging 9.0 points over the eight games in London. He shot nearly 41 percent from 3-point range and was third on the team in assists with an average of 4.6 per game.
In addition to Williams, the Illini also were represented at the games by former player and UI alum Jerry Colangelo, the managing director of USA Basketball's Men's Senior National Team and architect behind the Team USA's second straight gold medal performance.
Deron Williams Quotes following the gold medal game victory over Spain
On how it feels to win the gold medal:
"It's an amazing feeling. Just as special as the last time. We put a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication into this moment. A lot of people doubted us; they said we were too small, we didn't have any size to match Spain. We proved everybody wrong."
With so many weapons, how they determine who gets the shots:
"It just a matter of taking what the defense gives you. That's the fortunate thing on this team, we all get easy looks and it's just a matter of making them."
On the difference in the gold medal game:
"I think the defense took over; we got stops when we needed to, and we converted as well - we made some big shots. LeBron made some big shots, CP with that layup. It opened the game up for us."
On how to sum up the experience:
Williams quotes courtesy of USA Basketball.