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Basketball at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games

1952 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Date Started: July 14, 1952
Date Finished: August 2, 1952
Events: 1

Participants: 294 (294 men and 0 women) from 23 countries
Youngest Participant: HUN Les Hódi (18 years, 5 days)
Oldest Participant: EGY Albert Tadros (37 years, 341 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 40 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): 3 countries with 1 medal


As in 1948 there were 23 nations entered. Ten (10) nations were seeded into the main tournament. The other 13 teams were separated into three groups, which played a round-robin tournament within each group, although a team was eliminated after two losses, making them effectively double-elimination groups. This advanced a further six teams to the main tournament. The 16 teams were then separated into four groups of four teams each, which played round-robin games to advance two teams from each group to the semi-final groups. There were two semi-final groups of four teams each, again advancing the top two teams from each group to the semi-final matches, again via round-robins.

The games were held indoors, mostly at the Tennispalatsi, or Tennis Palace, although the final rounds were played at the Messuhalli II in Helsinki. The Messuhalli, or Exhibition Hall, which also hosted the boxing, gymnastics, weightlifting, and wrestling, at the 1952 Olympics. Tennispalatsi was built in 1938 in preparation for the 1940 Helsinki Olympics, which were never held, and it still exists, now used as a cultural and recreational venue, with multiple movie screens. Messuhalli was built in 1935 in the Töölö District of Helsinki and was later used for concerts, banquets, and sporting events. As of 2014 it is the home arena of the Torpan Pojat and Helsinki Seagulls basketball teams.

As in 1936 and 1948 the gold medal was won by the United States, winning its third of seven consecutive Olympic basketball gold medals. The US won the final game over the Soviet Union, making its Olympic basketball début, after having also defeated the USSR in semi-final group play.


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men's Basketball USA United States URS Soviet Union URU Uruguay