THE TEAM JAM CONNECTION
In the early 1990's, TEAM JAM would lead open gyms at Revere High School that would attract most of the top area amateur talent. As each Tuesday or Thursday night passed, so would the word about the "runs" you could get up at the high school.
One night, John was going around meeting the first time visitors for the night. Upon approaching one young looking athlete, he asked him his name.
He said, "Jimmy". Thinking he was clever, he asked "Jimmy" if he had a last name too!
Jimmy did. It was Oliver and he was playing for the Cavs at the time.
Being the tolerant, kind hearted young man that he was, Jimmy forgave John of his gaffe and they continued to keep in touch. The relationship included working camps for each other, special appearances in school classrooms, assistance with coaching TEAM JAM AAU teams and eventually just simply friendship.
Jimmy is committed to be an active member in the Akron community when he is not playing overseas. Jimmy, his wife Joli, and their two daughters are as a fine example as we know when it comes to being the kind of Christian young couple who have modeled how to handle success.
From Purdue University (1987-91), was selected in the 1991 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers as 2nd round pick (#39). In 1991-92 has made his debut in the NBA with Cleveland and the following season, 1992-93, has played in the CBA with Sioux Falls Skyforce and in Spain with El Ferrol. In 1993-94 was back in the NBA with Boston Celtics and in 1994-95 played at Salamanca Baloncesto (Spain). In 1995-96 has played in the CBA with Rockford Lightning, San Diego Wildcards and Oklahoma City Cavalry. In 1996-97 started at Nancy Basket (France); released by Nancy has then signed with Oklahoma City (CBA), Toronto Raptors (NBA) and Quad City (CBA). In the 1997-98 season signed for Washington Bullets but is released during the preseason and, on November 1997, signs for C.B. Huelva (Spain). For the 1998-99 season signed, on November, with Mens Sana Siena (Italy) but finished the seqason with NBA's Phoenix Suns. In 1999-00 joined, on late November, Iraklio OAA Kritis (Greece).Since 2000-01 was signed by BC Maroussi, still in Greece.
Named All-BIG Ten Conference First Team in 1990-91. Played with the USA National Team the 1998 World Championship in Greece. Played the 2000-01and 2001-02 Greek League All-Star Game and won the 2000-01 Saporta Cup.
Semifinals, 1st Leg MVP: Jimmy Oliver
(Mar 21, 2003) US forward Jimmy Oliver of Maroussi Athens was very close to the "triple-double" in the game against Lokomotiv Mineralnye Vody. He scored 21 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and gave 9 assists !
Note: In 1998 the NBA was involved in a lockout but the United
States still needed to field a team to represent them in the World
Championships. The team would have to be good enough to at least
finish in the top three places or it would be relegated to qualifying for
the next Olympics in qualifying tournaments. Intense tryouts
involved the best players in the United States who weren't currently under
contract with the NBA. Jimmy was arguably the leader and best
player on that team that eventually landed the Bronze medal after a loss
in the last second to the team from Lithuania and then blew a 10 pt. lead
in the last 3 minutes against Russia in the semifinal.
U.S. is back in the hunt at WorldsBy Howard Fendrich, Associated Press writer
ATHENS, Greece -- The no-name U.S. team is suddenly in the thick of things at the World Basketball Championship.
Jimmy Oliver led a second-half surge with 17 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:18 left, as the United States beat previously undefeated Spain 75-73 yesterday and locked up a quarterfinal berth.
Yugoslavia and Greece also fell from the unbeaten ranks Monday, but advanced to the quarterfinals.
Italy upset European champion Yugoslavia 61-60 as center Gregor Fucka made two free throws with 20 seconds remaining, while Russia beat Greece 60-48 behind Sergei Babkov's 18 points.
Six teams have 4-1 records and the United States, Spain, Yugoslavia, Russia, Greece and Lithuania -- which beat Argentina 84-75 Monday -- have assured themselves of quarterfinal spots with one game remaining in the round-robin second round.
"It's wide open right now. The teams are really evenly matched. A lot of games are going to come down to the last couple minutes," U.S. coach Rudy Tomjanovich said.
The win over Spain did, with plenty of contributions from unsung players.
Brad Miller, who went undrafted out of Purdue this spring, had 12 points and six rebounds in his strongest outing of the tournament. Kiwane Garris, who played at Illinois and is now in the CBA, had 11 points and Wendell Alexis, who starred at Syracuse in the 1980s and now plays in Germany, added 10 points.
But as it has almost all tournament, the United States started flat, missing 12 of its first 15 shots and trailing 20-8 nine minutes into the game.
The crew of castoffs, most of whom play in either the CBA or Europe, shot 11-for-31 from the field (35 percent) in the first half and trailed 42-31 at halftime.
But they battled back behind Oliver's hot hand and some increased intensity on defense.
"We're a working-class team," said Oliver, a former Purdue standout who now plays in Spain. "We're not high class, highly paid individuals. We need to go out and work for it. If we do, this gold medal should be ours."
Spain's Alberto Herreros scored 27 points.
The Americans, playing here because the NBA labor dispute led to the dumping of the roster of NBA stars, never led until Oliver hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game to make it 72-71.
Free throws by both teams made it 75-73 with 10 seconds left, giving Spain time to tie or win the game. But Ignacio Rodriguez missed a 3-pointer from the corner and Jose Antonio Paraiso, who grabbed the rebound, threw up a wild shot.
Since losing to Lithuania in its second game, the United States has won three straight and no one has a better record.
"This is all going to be work here. We're not going to breeze through any game," said Jimmy King, a part of Michigan's Fab Five which reached two NCAA title games. "That's how competitive this tournament is."
Elsewhere, Australia (3-2) rallied for a 75-63 victory over Brazil (1-4), and Puerto Rico (2-3) kept alive its slim hopes for a quarterfinal spot by beating Canada (1-4) 94-81.
Photo by The Associated Press
American Kiwane Garris, left, tries to score during their game with Spain yesterday at the World Basketball Championships.
Wednesday, August 5, 1998
BY The Associated Press
Jimmy Oliver scored 18 points to lead five players in double figures Tuesday and the unheralded Americans dominated Australia from the outset in a 96-78 victory that earned them a top seeding for the quarterfinals of the World Basketball Championship.
The game was not as close as the final score indicated and the Americans' best performance at the week-old tournament showed that the collection of castoffs is a legitimate threat to contend for the gold medal.
"We finally put two halves together," said Oliver, who has played for nine different teams in the NBA, CBA and Spanish League since leaving Purdue in 1991. "It was unselfish basketball, forcing them to play good defense."
Jason Sasser added 15 points and seven rebounds for the U.S.; Jimmy King had 14 points, Wendell Alexis 13 and Kiwane Garris 11.
Xavier product Michael Hawkins, one of the team's leading scorers, was held scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting.
The United States shot 61 percent from the field (41-of-67), including 8-of-12 from three-point range. For a change, the team was hot right from the start, taking control with a 22-5 run that made it 35-17 14 minutes in.
"Everybody realizes this team has been getting off to slow starts," Alexis said. "We needed to push the ball and be aggressive early."
It was the sort of lopsided game that was commonplace for the various versions of the Dream Team, which is not here because of the NBA labor dispute.
"We have made big progress as far as understanding the team game and what the game plan is," coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "Every guy now understands what his role is."
The United States (5-1) will face Italy in Friday's quarterfinals. The Italians (4-2) edged Puerto Rico 68-63, and Argentina (3-3) held off Brazil 86-76 Tuesday to earn the last two quarterfinal berths.
In games which determined seedings for the quarterfinals, Yugoslavia, the other top seed, beat Greece 70-56; Russia defeated Canada 81-72; and Spain beat Lithuania 86-80 in overtime.
The other quarterfinal matchups are: Yugoslavia (5-1) vs. Argentina; Spain (5-1) vs. Greece (4-2); and Lithuania (4-2) vs. Russia (5-1).
Tomjanovich's mix-and-match roster showed patience on offense, moving the ball well.
"We kept changing defenses," Australia coach Barry Barnes said. "We tried pressure, we tried laying off their shooters. But nothing worked."
Alexis, who played at Syracuse more than 10 years ago and is now playing in Germany, had all of his points in the first half, which ended with the U.S. leading 54-31 when Oliver hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Australia never got closer than 18 points the rest of the way.
UNITED STATES (75) -- Hawkins 0-4 0-0 0, Sasser 6-12 3-6 15, Oliver 7-10 1-1 18, G.King 2-4 0-0 4, Wood 2-3 0-0 4, Langdon 0-0 0-0 0, Garris 5-7 0-0 11, J.King 6-8 2-2 14, Edwards 2-4 0-0 5, Alexis 5-7 0-0 13, Amaya 3-4 0-2 6, Miller 3-4 0-1 6. Totals 41-67 6-12 96.
AUSTRALIA (73) -- Ronaldson 0-3 0-0 0, Gaze 3-7 2-4 8, Heal 12-18 2-3 31, Vlahov 3-5 0-0 7, Rogers 2-4 2-3 6, Maher 3-5 0-0 8, Fisher 0-0 0-0 0, Drmic 0-1 0-0 0, Mackinnon 2-7 0-0 4, Dwight 2-4 3-3 7, Melmeth 1-3 2-2 4, Anstey 1-4 1-2 3. Totals 29-61 12-17 78. United States 54 42_96 Australia 31 47_78
3-Point goals_United States 8-12 (Oliver 3-3, Alexis 3-3, Edwards 1-1, Garris 1-3, Hawkins 0-2), Australia 8-14 (Heal 5-7, Maher 2-2, Vlahov 1-2, Gaze 0-1, Ronaldson 0-2). Rebounds_United States 40 (Sasser, Amaya 7), Australia 26 (Rogers 7). Assists_United States 14 (Oliver 3), Australia 9 (Heal 5).
Copyright © August 04, 1998, Pocono