Fall Premier Auction 2013
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
It may not have technically been a dream team, since the term as used in conjunction with the Olympics was still almost four decades hence, but any basketball squad with Bill Russell and K. C Jones on board should have a leg up on the competition, and this squad certainly did. Carl Cain, an All-America forward from the University of Iowa, figured to be an integral piece of that team that swept by its Olympic challengers with an 8-0 record in Melbourne, Australia, but a recurring back injury from his stint in the U.S. Army kept his playing time to a minimum.
This is Cain’s gold medal from that historic Olympics when the U.S. team, led by Russell’s 14 points per game, crushed eight opponents by an average margin of 54 points, 10 points more per contest than the “Dream Team” professionals would manage 36 years later. In all, eight players averaged 8 or more points per game as the juggernaut USA team rolled over the likes of Thailand, the Philippines, Brazil and Bulgaria, then adding two resounding wins over the Soviet Union.
It’s fun to imagine what might have been had the popular and talented Cain been healthy in Melbourne. In three seasons at Iowa, he averaged 14.2 point and 14 rebounds, leading the Hawkeyes to 56 wins against 18 losses over the span and into two NCAA Final Fours. His All-America season as a senior propelled the Hawkeyes into an NCAA Championship Game against the University of San Francisco, where 26 points from Bill Russell pushed the undefeated USF team into the record books with an 83-71 win over Cain and the Hawkeyes. After winning the last two Big 10 titles in his junior and senior years, losing to Russell (and K.C. Jones) was hardly a disgrace, as a generation of NBA fans were about to find out over the next 15 years.
Cain’s medal shows minimal handling wear with a fine original patina. The bottom half of the original presentation box is included with its red felt insert (lid is absent).
Includes a signed LOA from Carl Cain.