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Boomers' beautiful act of sportsmanship and respect for Argentine opponent 'what Olympics all about'

(Photo by Getty Images)
Editor
3rd August, 2021
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Australia’s Boomers joined their rivals in an emotional minute of applause for Argentina legend Luis Scola during their Olympic Games quarterfinal on Tuesday.

With 51.4 seconds left on the click and Australia already well home in their 97-59 win, the 41-year-old Scola, a five-time Olympian and former gold medallist, left the court at an Olympics for the last time.

While his teammates started a round of applause all the Australian players soon joined in, and it was heartfelt and drawn out as Scola was close to tears.

“It’s an emotional time for him,” said Australia’s five-time Olympian Andrew Gaze on the Channel 7 commentary. “He’ never walked away from the obligations, regardless of the circumstances.

“He’s always put his hand up and this is genuine respect for one of the legends of the game. Fair play to Boomers for paying homage – I thought that was really classy. They stopped the game for a lot longer period than you’d usually stop a game for to acknowledge his greatness.”

Andrew Bogut said Scola was a rare big name player who would put his hand up for his international team, even if it wasn’t a big event

“He would play in smaller comps, in non World Cups, non Olympics, friendlies in the off season,” said Bogut.

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“Credit to Scola, it was always tough playing against him.”

Scola, a dad of four, signed with the Houston Rockets in 2007, and was voted to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Later he played for the Phoenix Suns, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets.

He has been a regular member of the Argentina national basketball team since 1999, winning an Olympic gold team medal in 2004 after they beat the USA in the semis, adding a bronze team medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Scola confirmed afterward that it was his last game. When reminded that the next Olympics are only three years away he replied: “I don’t think I have three more days”.

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