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Sam Balter

Full name: Samuel J. "Sam" Balter, Jr.
Gender: Male
Height: 5-10 (178 cm)
Weight: 150 lbs (68 kg)
Born: October 15, 1909 in Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: August 8, 1998 in Los Angeles, California, United States
Affiliations: Universal Pictures, Los Angeles (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Basketball

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)


Signed by the Chicago White Sox out of high school, Sam Balter instead attended UCLA in the late 20s where he was a star of the basketball team and its captain in 1929. As pro basketball was virtually nonexistent in the depression days, he continued playing as an amateur with a team sponsored by Universal Pictures. When basketball made its first Olympic appearance in 1936 he helped the United States win its first gold medal in this sport and retains the dubious distinction of being our shortest (5-9¼ (1.76) basketball Olympian ever. Balter later went on to a short career as a teacher and basketball coach. However he became quite famous as a sportscaster and radio announcer in the Southern California area, so much so that in 1945 Variety voted him the top news commentator in the U.S. He was the first person to do coast-to-coast radio sports commentary and also the first person to cover a college football game for television. In 1970 he was voted into the Helms Basketball Hall of Fame.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1936 Summer 26 Berlin Basketball Men's Basketball United States USA 1 Gold

Men's Basketball

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result PTS
1936 Summer 26 Berlin Basketball United States USA Semi-Finals Match #1 1 1936-08-13 USA 25, MEX 10 10
1936 Summer 26 Berlin Basketball United States USA Round Two Match #5 1 1936-08-09 USA 52, EST 28 7
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