A champion again: Luis Scola adds Pan Am gold to his medal collection

Athens 2004 Olympic champ leads Argentina to gold in Peru, his fifth major international title.

By ZK Goh ·

Luis Scola has another gold medal to his name.

The veteran power forward, aged 39, capped off his first-ever Pan American Games tournament in style as Argentina defeated Puerto Rico 84–66 in the final.

His 28 points in the gold-medal game helped Argentina win their second Pan American title and first since 1995.

It is Scola's fifth major honour with the national team, after Olympic gold at Athens 2004, the FIBA Diamond Ball in 2008, and two FIBA Americas Championships in 2001 and 2011.

Captain and top scorer

Despite his age, Scola shows little sign of slowing down.

His points return of 28 in the championship game led the charts in game highs for both the final as well as for Argentina in the tournament.

Only Team USA's Myles Hodge surpassed Scola's single-game scoring total, hitting 30 points against Venezuela.

Argentina named a star-studded roster for the competition, relying heavily on European-based players, attracting the bulk of the attention from fans in Peru.

However, captain Scola – the oldest player named to the squad by 10 years – was the only member of the team who was also part of Argentina's Golden Generation from 2001 to 2012.

That team was profiled in the Olympic Channel Five Rings Films documentary of the same name, which you can watch below:

The Golden Generation | Five Rings Films

How a once-in-a-generation Argentina team, led by Manu Ginobili, brought do...

Aiming for more history

Argentina Shock USA in Men's Basketball | Athens 2004

Relive Argentina's surprise 89-81 win over the USA in the Men's Basketball ...

Scola tallied 93 points in four games (16.8 points per game), behind only Real Madrid's Gabriel Deck (18.8) for points per game on the Argentine squad.

After such a storied career, including that historic win over the U.S. in the semi-finals at Athens 2004, Scola still has one big honour missing from his impressive national team career.

The FIBA Basketball World Cup, which Argentina has not won since the inaugural tournament in 1950.

This year's tournament takes place in China at the start of September, with Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualification on the line.

Scola has suggested it could be his last hurrah before retirement.

Speaking to Clarín, the 10-season NBA player who is currently a free agent said: "If we don't qualify for the Olympic Games, I have no intention of playing in any other team.

"My commitment to the national team and to basketball is until the end of China. What happens in China will make me decide my next steps."


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Number of medals

2 Olympic medals


Olympic Games

4 Olympic Games